Chalmers, David

Band members               Related acts

- Chris Briggs -- bass, keyboards (1976-77)

- David Chalmers -- vocals, guitar, keyboards (1976-)

- Lare Crawley -- guitar (1976-77)

- Bill Cunningham -- keyboards (1977)

- Al Hurst -- drums, percussion (1976-77)

- Dan Morel -- bass (1976-77)

- Dallas Rush -- percussion (1976)

- Sid Sage -- keyboards (1976)

- Silas Stone -- keyboards (1976)




- Butterscotch Grove (David Chalmers)

- The Dark Side (David Chalmers)

- The DC Dance Band (David Chalmers)

- Dogs That Fly (David Chalmers)

- The Grove (David Chalmers)

- The Pillbugs (David Chalmers)

- Smokey Roe (David Chalmers)





Genre: rock

Rating: 3 stars ***

Title:  Primeval Road

Company: Same Old Label

Catalog: SRK 1000

Year: 1976

Country/State: East Dubuque, Iowa

Grade (cover/record): VG+ / VG+

Comments: gatefold sleeve; 2nd version with 'Dear Friends' (opened shrink wrap and played once to copy to CDR for personal use)

Available: 1

GEMM catalog ID: 5344

Price: $100.00


This album sat in my 'to-listen-to' pile for over two years.  The butt ugly cover and the fact it was a sealed copy combined to keep me skipping over it in favor of something else.  Dumb of me since it's become one of my favorite recent discoveries.


Can't say I know a great deal about David Chalmers, other than what I cribbed off of his entertaining website.  He's been a professional musician since the mid-1960s playing in a stream of local bands including The Dark Side, Butterscotch Grove/The Grove, Dogs That Fly, and the cleverly named Dave Chalmers Band.  He also owns Sound Workshop Studios located in Loomis, California. 


As a solo artist Chalmers made his debut with 1976's "Primeval Road".  Co-produced by Chalmers and Albert Hurst (who also played drums on a number of songs), there were actually two versions of the LP.  The first was released by the Same Old Label (catalog number 64109) with a gatefold sleeve and featured nine songs.  Sporting the same artwork, the second version was released by River Records and sported an eight song track listing - the song 'Dear Friends' replacing a pair of guitar rockers found on the first version ('Houston' and 'Snow-White Horse').  As mentioned earlier, musically the set was surprisingly good for something that showcased a significant singer/songwriter quotient.  Technically Chalmers may not have owned the most impressive voice you've ever heard, but he certainly knew how to use his gift, turning in a series of songs that were both melodic and lyrically entertaining.  Tracks such as 'Dear Friends' (which really did recall something out of The Moody Blues' catalog), 'Stage Coach' and 'Don't Want To Go Home' were nothing short of charming, holding up to repeated listenings far better than a lot of more heavily hyped offerings.  You also had to admire Chalmers' guitar work.  Operating under the long lost 'less-is-more' idiom, solos on songs like 'Hotel Room' and 'Don't Want To Go Home' were kept short and tasteful, only serving to underscore the man's considerable talents.  That probably disappointed a lot of folks who bought the album expecting to hear a wall of wailing guitar.  I wasn't one of them.  The album's other notable characteristic was its sound.  It may have been recorded in 1976, but the atmosphere and vibe was pure early-1970s.  Mind you the album wasn't perfect.  With an over-abundance of slow tunes, side two started to fade, before being rescued by the synthesizer propelled closer 'Function Clan'.


"Primeval Road" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Dear Friends   (David Chalmers) - 4:00
2.) Hotel Room   (David Chalmers) - 4:00
3.) Stage Coach   (David Chalmers) - 4:46
4.) Don't Want To Go Home   (David Chalmers) - 6:13


(side 2)
Driver's Wheel   (David Chalmers) - 3:22
2.) Primeval Road   (David Chalmers) - 7:35
3.) I Don't Want To Talk About It   (Danny Whitten) - 4:11
4.) Function Clan   (David Chalmers) - 4:54

Interestingly in 2005-2007 Chalmers got into the resale act himself.  Apparently sitting on a large stash of the first two LPs, he began selling them on eBay with prices quickly tumbling from the $100 range down to $50-$60 though the supply seems to have dried up. (Yes I bought my copies from him and he was nice enough to include a CD featuring some more recent work.)


Here's a link to Chalmers' entertaining website:




Genre: rock

Rating: 3 stars ***

Title:  Looking for Water

Company: River

Catalog: SRR-1001

Year: 1977

Country/State: East Dubuque, Iowa

Grade (cover/record): VG+ / VG+

Comments: still in shrink wrap; original inner sleeve

Available: 1

GEMM catalog ID: 5345

Price: $90.00



The first couple of times I heard it David Chalmers sophomore album "Looking for Water" struck me as a mild disappointment.  Being a big fan of the debut LP I was expecting to hear another set of sensitive singer/songwriter material.  With the exception of the closer 'You Can't Say No' the sounds totally different this time around.  Whereas the debut album had a surprisingly cohesive feel, the sophomore set sounded like it was recorded in a rush by someone who had run out of time and ideas (it clocked in at under 30 minutes).  The album also certainly lacked the cohesiveness of the debut.  Whereas the first LP was largely original material, the sophomore set included a pair of covers (a needless take on Chuck Berry's 'Around and Around' and an equally forgettable cover of the rock chestnut 'Under the Boardwalk') and a pair of remakes from the debut ('Hotel Room II' and 'Houston').  Elsewhere, the aptly titled 'The Disco Song' found Chalmers taking a stab at a disco song ...  bad decision even if it was meant to be tongue in cheek.  Not to say the set was a complete wipeout.  Having switched to up tempo material, Chalmers' guitar chops were more in evidence this time around (check out 'Hotel Room II').  The opener 'Since I've Been There' showcased Chalmers playing something far heavier than anything found on the debut.  Chalmers low keyed vocals also remained a source of enjoyment.  So, I don't like it as much as the debut, but it still has a degree of charm and appeal that you won't find in lots of more expensive collectables.


"In Search of Water" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Since I've Been There   (David Chalmers) - 3:13

2.) Houston   (David Chalmers) - 3:17

3.) Looking for Water   (David Chalmers) - 3:06

4/) Hotel Room II   (David Chalmers) - 4:09


(side 2)
1.) Around and Around   (Chuck Berry) - 3:52

2.) The Disco Song   (David Chalmers) - 4:16

3.) Under the Boardwalk   (Artie Resnick - K. Young) - 4:41

4.) You Can't Say No   (David Chalmers) - 3:28





Genre: rock

Rating: 3 stars ***

Title:  All Night Long

Company: River

Catalog: --

Year: 1977

Country/State: East Dubuque, Iowa

Grade (cover/record): VG / VG

Comments: cardboard box with cover slick, lyric sheet and promo sticker

Available: --

GEMM catalog ID: --

Price: --



According to Chalmers, between 50 and 100 copies of the third LP "All Night Long" were pressed for promotional purposes.  Chalmers apparently still owns numerous copies, occasionally putting one up for sale on eBay where they routinely rake in between $200 - $300.  I've never heard it, but based on a series of on-line review I've read it apparently sounds similar to the second half of "Primeval Road" - meaning singer/songwriter fair.  


"All Night Long" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) All Night Long   (David Chalmers) - 

2.) Now I Know   (David Chalmers) - 

3.) Toledo   (David Chalmers) - 

4.) Zig Zag (Zig Zag)   (David Chalmers) - 


(side 2)

1.) Jesse   (David Chalmers) - 

2.) Spend Another Day   (David Chalmers) - 

3.) 11 To 7   (David Chalmers) - 

4.) Western Trails   (David Chalmers) - 

Courtesy of Chalmers' website, here's a picture of what was apparently planned as the cover for the third, aborted LP.