“I am truly honored and flattered to be inducted into the Alabama Music Hall of Fame early next year. I cherish my Alabama roots and am humbled to now join the ranks of so many other great artists that hail from my home state, the Great State of Alabama!” – Chuck Leavell
Keyboardist Chuck Leavell’s resume is among rock’s most impressive. He’s toured and recorded with The Rolling Stones for decades, been a member of the Allman Brothers and worked with many high-wattage artists including Eric Clapton and Aretha Franklin.
Leavell, a Birmingham native, will soon add Alabama Music Hall of Fame inductee to his resume.
On Wednesday, Hall of Fame chairman Bill Newton announced the hall’s 2016 inductees. The strong field also includes former Grateful Dead vocalist Donna Jean Godchaux-McKay, record producer Johnny Sandlin, Southern rockers Wet Willie and the Muscle Shoals Horns.
Alabama Music Hall of Fame inductions will take place Feb. 26 at the Marriott Shoals Conference Center in Florence.
Leavell’s mind was set on a career in music at age 13 after seeing Ray Charles in concert. By 15 he was playing keys on Muscle Shoals sessions, including the recording of Freddie North’s song “Don’t Take Her, She’s All I’ve Got.” Leavell was just 20 years old when he joined the Allman Brothers Band in 1972. The first LP he recorded with the Southern rockers was “Brothers and Sisters,” which included the classics “Ramblin’ Man” and “Southbound,” and topped the Billboard 200. Following the Allmans’ breakup a few years later, Leavell formed the jazz-rock band Sea Level with Allmans drummer Jaimoe, aka Jai Johanny Johanson, on the infamous Macon, Ga. based label Capricorn Records. [...] Continue Reading…
The Rolling Stones will return to South America for the first time in ten years next year for a continent-spanning stadium tour that kicks off in February. Starting out at Estadio Nacional in Santiago, Chile on February 3, the tour will take the legendary rockers through 12 dates in 7 countries, including their first ever appearances in Uruguay, Peru and Columbia. After returning home following the tour closer at Foro Sol in Mexico City, The Stones will start up their “Exhibitionism” exhibit at London’s Saatchi Gallery beginning April 5. View the full tour dates below.
February 3 Santiago, Chile—Estadio Nacional
February 7 Buenos Aires, Argentina—Estadio Único Ciudad de La Plata
February 10 Buenos Aires, Argentina—Estadio Único Ciudad de La Plata
February 13 Buenos Aires, Argentina—Estadio Único Ciudad de La Plata
February 16 Montevideo, Uruguay—Estadio Centenario
February 20 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil—Estádio Maracanã
February 24 São Paulo, Brazil—Estádio do Morumbi
February 27 São Paulo, Brazil—Estádio do Morumbi
March 2 Porto Alegre, Brazil—Estádio Beira-Rio
March 6 Lima, Peru—Estadio Monumental
March 10 Bogotá, Columbia—Estadio El Campín
March 14 Mexico City, Mexico—Foro Sol
For all Tour Dates: http://www.rollingstones.com/
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The Rolling Stone’s Chuck Leavell takes the Chastain Park Amphitheatre stage with Michelle Malone and Athens staple Russell Bramblett to celebrate the conservation of Atlanta’s 168-acre park Friday night. Leavell is the proud caretaker of the 2,500 acre tree farm, Charlane Plantation in Macon, as well as the co-founder of the popular sustainability website Mother Nature Network. When he’s not touring with the Stones, Leavell is writing books and delivering speeches on Capitol Hill to urge Americans to fight for forestry conservation. Leavell is eager to play Rock Chastain, a gig combining his passion for music and the environment. He talked to the Athens-Banner Herald from the backroads of his farm about music, conservation and the celebration of both at Friday’s show.
ABH: When did you first fall in love with music?
CL: When I was probably 5 years old. My mother played the piano, I would tug on her skirt and ask her to play something . That was when my first joy came. But I knew I wanted to pursue music when I was around twelve years old. My sister Judy had a date to see Ray Charles in Tuscaloosa at the coliseum. My parents had an obligation so they hinted to my sister to take me along. She was kind enough to obliged. I had never seen a performance that powerful before. It absolutely wooed me and really quite honestly changed my life. Later in my career I actually got to play a concert with Ray in Europe. That was certainly the dream come true for me. [...] Continue Reading…
If Maggie Renfroe pursues guitar playing and singing as other than an avocation, she already has one item on her resume’ that will stand out for a 16-year-old entertainer.
On the evening of Oct. 1, Renfroe opened for Chuck Leavell at a concert at Idle Hour Country Club, playing familiar ballads and others she has written in the eight years since she first picked up a guitar.
Sheila and Bob Johnson and Mimi and Drew Schillng were part of the crowd watching Renfroe, whose youthful persistence did not let the background conversation of people milling about the ballroom distract her — something seasoned performers are inured to with rhythm and blues fans who rarely stay in their seats.
With a voice that reminds one of a young Taylor Swift, she covered the singer, one of her favorites, on “The Best Day,” finally hushing the audience with Leonard Cohen’s 1984 sleeper, “Hallelujah,” which became a hit with the release of the movie, “Shrek,” in 2001.
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On an early May afternoon, Chuck Leavell was preparing to sound check at Eddie’s Attic, where that night he would play a benefit concert for Westchester Elementary School in Decatur, which his grandsons Miles and Rocco attend.
Leavell was helping the school raise funds for musical instruments and field trips to explore music and nature – two things that are embedded in his soul.
For more than four decades, Leavell, an Alabaman-turned-Georgian, has played piano and keyboards with some of the grandest names in music – Dr. John, The Allman Brothers Band, Eric Clapton, his own Sea Level, John Mayer.
But his most visible gig the past 30-plus years has been perched behind Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts and Ronnie Wood as the keyboardist for The Rolling Stones.
Leavell, 63, and the indefatigable crew behind some of classic rock’s most venerable tunes are back on the road playing U.S. stadiums for the first time since 2005-2007’s “A Bigger Bang” tour.
They’ll pull into Bobby Dodd Stadium at Georgia Tech for a show on June 9 – the band’s first Atlanta appearance since two stops at Philips Arena in 2005 and 2006 and a return to the 55,000-capacity “Ramblin’ Wreck,” which they played during 1989’s “Steel Wheels” run.
When he isn’t performing on cavernous stages from Sydney to Stockholm, Leavell and Rose Lynn, his wife since 1973, relish the serenity of Charlane Plantation, their 2,500-acre tree farm outside of Macon, and their newer retreat in Savannah. [...] Continue Reading…
Chuck, Randall and Michelle wish to say thank you to all that attended the Rock Chastain event on Oct 16. It was a great success both musically and as a fund raiser for the Park. Chastain is a true Jewel for Atlanta!
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Things got dancy as Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe took to the stage next. The suit-clad group opened up with “When I Get Home” and invited Chuck Leavell to join in. The former Allman Brothers keyboardist and current Rolling Stones touring member lent his signature style to a number of songs, including a cover of the Stones’ “Tumbling Dice.” The band closed their set with a “My Baby Likes to Boogaloo” that had the whole crowd grooving.
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Hunting Quail in Georgia The highs and lows of shooting the delicious game bird on South Georgia’s Riverview Plantation. Recipe included.
Our quail hunt at the riverview plantation in Camilla, Ga., ended sweetly, but started with me swearing. That first February morning, we stood beneath a metallic blue wintertime sky, two old friends with Beretta 20-gauge shotguns. A pair of wiry English pointers worked a broad field of tawny grass, framed by towering pines, as our guide orchestrated the action. Suddenly, the dogs went rigid, pointing at birds hiding in the grass.
My shooting companion, David Bertioli, is an Englishman with his own shooting estate. We quietly moved forward, flanking the dogs right and left, assuming safe shooting positions. We expected a covey of bobwhites bursting noisily into the sky, but a single quail lackadaisically flew out of a tuft of lovegrass, and landed some 30 feet away on the high seat of the guide’s Jeep. I breeched my shotgun, walked over, and grabbed Colinus virginianus, the king of game birds. For hunters, hand-caught birds are bad juju. It suggests that the place drops pen-raised birds into fields before a shoot, which is unacceptable when a plantation charges some $1,200 a day per hunter. Our guide was noticeably uncomfortable.