The Chambers Brothers

People Get Ready

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The first of a handful of early live albums by the group, recorded in concert at the Ash Grove in Los Angeles and the Unicorn in Boston in 1965. The Chambers Brothers were purely an R&B outfit at the time (their psychedelic stylings being a couple of years in the future), and a good one, although they're a little bit surer on the more basic blues than on some of the R&B that they cover -- their renditions of Jimmy Reed's material seem more inspired than their performance of the Valentinos' old hit "It's All Over Now," although to their credit their rendition of the latter sounds nothing like the Rolling Stones' then-current cover of the same song. The group also does a beautiful job of harmonizing on Curtis Mayfield's "People Get Ready," and shows a command of the poppier side of rock & roll on "Call Me," a group original with a catchy "Hang on Sloopy"-style central riff. This album, like its companion release, Now, is a good low-cost introduction to the Chambers Brothers, who show that, even at this early date in their history, they were a commanding and exciting presence on-stage.

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