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Real Music -Like Father, Like Son - Dylan Chambers


Real Music - Like Father, Like Son
Dylan Chambers

by Robert Feuer

Singer/songwriter Dylan Chambers’ musical journey began on the stage of Lincoln Center in New York at age four, singing “Dock of the Bay” with his dad, Lester Chambers of the classic R&B band, the Chambers Brothers. Lester, with Dylan’s uncle, Willie Chambers, was touring up the coast from Florida, and Dylan wanted to be on stage, too. Instructed to enter after their fourth song, he says during a recent interview, “I popped up on a stool and took the mic from my dad. I could see the sea of people standing up cheering for me. The feeling was so real, like this is what I’m going to go for the rest of my life.”

Shortly after, Dylan recorded a Christmas tune with Lester, “Reggae Rudolph.” He sang backup on his dad’s two recent albums, and currently they perform together at each other’s shows. 

Born in Los Angeles, Dylan has traveled and resided with Lester for a dozen years, with the past six being in Petaluma. The two have struggled through financial and health issues. “Some things didn’t pan out,” says Dylan. Record companies never gave the Chambers Brothers their fair share. “He gets a smidgen of what he should get.” Dylan has been there for Lester’s two bouts with cancer. “I never wanted to leave him alone.”

Soul is a word that’s hard to define, but there’s no doubt Dylan has it. And how could’ve he avoided it, growing up in the Chambers family’s world, picking up some of their vocal techniques. Jimi Hendrix has also been a strong influence. “You start smokin’ a little herb and getting influenced by his songwriting and guitar playing. Also, he’s a brother, and I kind of look….with the hair (Dylan has a full Afro) and mixed skin.” 

Dylan has performed at anniversary shows for the Summer of Love and Woodstock in Golden Gate Park for over 50,000 people. He describes 1960’s music as “timeless.” His shows now bring out people from age 20 to the people who saw the Chambers Brothers at the Fillmore, he says. “I was probably in a different life, living in somebody’s body back then.”

In 2012, Dylan returned to New York for the Music for Occupy CD release party at City Winery. A song he had written, “Make a Stand,” had been selected for inclusion. 

He describes his band, Midnight Transit, using terms like “high-energy rock n’ roll tendencies, funky and groovy, with a pop-catch that has a radio flare and friendliness.” He writes “love songs, sexually flirty songs, politically wanna-change-the- world songs, havin’-a-good-time-lovin’-life songs, tellin’-a-story songs,” he says.

Midnight Transit has been in the studio trying to finish a new album, “without autotune” Dylan is quick to add. They’ve won awards for Best Local Band in 2013 and 2014. In May, Dylan was the focus of an ABC-TV news segment. 

Now, at age 30, he’s poised for a leap into his share of the future.

Upcoming shows and more at Watch the ABC newsclip at