Performance doubles as tribute to flood-ravaged Nashville
Days before the Cumberland River flooded its banks in May 2010, leaving more than $2.3 billion of soggy destruction in its wake, Keith Urban moved some of his best guitars to a warehouse on the river’s eastern shore. The plan was to have everything in one place before May 5, when recording sessions for his seventh album, Get Closer, were supposed to begin. Satisfied with the move — and looking to spend one last weekend with his wife before the album’s start date — Urban packed his bags and caught a plane for Hawaii, where Nicole Kidman was filming a movie. While he was gone, a 1,000-year storm hit Nashville, leaving much of the town — including the warehouse — under several feet of water.
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SAN FRANCISCO — The doorway into Studio Trilogy isn’t particularly wide, so by all accounts, Chuck Leavell’s head shouldn’t be able to squeeze through it.
Both as a musician and an environmentalist, Leavell, 61, has reached heights that would swell the craniums of most mortals to blimp proportions. Keyboardist for the Allman Brothers, Eric Clapton and the Rolling Stones. Tree farmer, eco-pal of presidents and co-founder of the website Mother Nature Network.
Yet his ego gets checked at the door.
“I’m just a guy who loves music and loves this planet, and wants to see both thrive long after I’m gone,” Leavell says as he settles into a sofa not far from a recording space where Lada Gaga recently hit some high notes.
Leavell is on break from the current Stones tour — interrupted by the March suicide of Mick Jagger’s partner, L’Wren Scott — and in town to receive kudos from the think tank Pacific Forest Trust.
“We just got to 7 billion people here,” he says. “That means we’ll be facing a lot of resource challenges as a human race.”
Artists with causes aren’t a new tune, but the roots of Leavell’s commitment run deep. They were planted during a rural childhood in Alabama and blossomed after his wife, Rose Lane, inherited 1,000 acres of Georgia farmland near Macon not long after the couple married in the early 1970s.
“We were wondering what to do with some of it, and I looked around at the things I loved, like pianos, and, realizing they were made of wood, decided that sustainable forestry was something I wanted to do,” he says. [...] Continue Reading…
The Rolling Stones defied objections from boycotting musicians and exceeded expectations with a phenomenal performance last Wednesday night. The band played for 50,000 fans that packed the amphitheater at Hayrkon Park in Tel Aviv, Israel. There were multiple trip ups, but the show finally went on.
The show began with opening song “Start Me Up” and when on for two hours. Other songs in the set included “It’s Only Rock and Roll”, “Angie”, “Honky Tonk Women” and “Brown Sugar”. The highlight of the concert was Mick Taylor joining the band on stage for a rendition of “Midnight Rambler”. The concert closed with a final encore of “Satisfaction”, which Mick Taylor also joined in on. After music ended there was a show of fire works as a finale.
This was the Rolling Stones first time playing in Israel, and their debut almost didn’t happen with the protests of fellow British rocker Roger Waters, lead singer of the band Pink Floyd. Waters tried repeatedly to convince the Rolling Stones to join in a boycott of Israel. He is a very vocal opponent of what Water’s believes to be Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestine. [...] Continue Reading…
Last night The Rolling Stones’ 14 On Fire World Tour continued at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu in Madrid, Spain, where the band dusted off a long-lost Bob Dylan cover for the first time in over a decade.
At each show of the tour, The Rolling Stones have played a song requested by fans that has been determined by voting on social networks and beyond. A cover of Bob Dylan’s “Like A Rolling Stone” won out last night and the version the Stones delivered was their first take on the song since way back on September 29, 2003. The Stones’ “Like A Rolling Stone” was propelled by Chuck Leavell’s organ work and Keith Richards’ sharp rhythm guitar stylings. We don’t have as nice things to say about Mick Jagger’s harmonica solo.
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With their gig in Tel Aviv less than a day away, some of the members of the Rolling Stones took some time off Tuesday afternoon to visit that essential landmark for any foreign visitor — Jerusalem’s Western Wall.
Guitarist Ronnie Wood, drummer Charlie Watts and touring keyboard player Chuck Leavell were all at hand to witness Judaism’s most sacred spot; Leavell was even photographed wearing a kipa and placing a note at the Kotel — as is customary.
Mick Jagger evidently took a jaunt along Israel’s Mediterranean coast, paying a visit to the Roman ruins at Caesarea. Jagger posted a photo standing among the ruins with the Caesarea power plant in the background.
Jagger (who should know his concert halls) calls the ancient Herodian theater at the Roman-era port an amphitheater — a term which classically refers to a fully circular venue like the one Pink Floyd performed at live in Pompeii in 1972. (Traditional classical theaters, like the one at Caesarea, are semicircular; we’ll forgive him.)
The Stones touched down in Israel Monday night aboard their private plane, festooned with the band’s name and logo. The visit marks the band’s first in Israel, ahead of a much-anticipated concert for 50,000 fans Wednesday night at Tel Aviv’s Yarkon Park.
The band arrived with a 70-person entourage, at least 100 more technical and other staff, and some 1,000 tourists who flew in Monday to attend the Wednesday concert. The arrivals were dubbed the Rolling Stones “airlift” by Israeli television news anchors. [...] Continue Reading…
What an honor to pay tribute to my old boss and great friend, Mac (Dr. John) Rebbennack. Such A Night!!
The Musical Mojo of Dr. John: A Celebration Of Mac & His Music – New Orleans, LA – May 3, 2014
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The rescheduling of the tour to October/November has also allowed for two additional concerts to be added to the tour – one at Perth Arena on Saturday 1 November 2014 and the other at Hope Estate in the Hunter Valley on Saturday 15 November 2014.
The new tour dates are:
NEW DATE OLD DATE VENUE
Saturday 25 October 2014 Saturday 22 March 2014 Adelaide Oval
Wednesday 29 October 2014 Wednesday 19 March 2014 Perth Arena
Saturday 01 November 2014 NEW SHOW Perth Arena
Wednesday 5 November 2014 Friday 28 March 2014 Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne
Saturday 8 November 2014 Sunday 30 March 2014 Hanging Rock, Macedon
Wednesday 12 November 2014 Tuesday 25 March 2014 Sydney Allphones Arena
Saturday 15 November 2014 NEW SHOW Hope Estate, Hunter Valley
Tuesday 18 November 2014 Wednesday 2 April 2014 Brisbane Entertainment Centre
Saturday 22 November 20142014 Auckland Mt Smart Stadium
Ticket holders who are able to attend the rescheduled date need take no action, their existing ticket will remain valid and their location within the venue will remain unchanged. [...] Continue Reading…
Meet Outside-the-Box Award Winner CHUCK LEAVELL
Chuck Leavell is one of the most accomplished keyboardists in rock music history. For over 30 years, he’s played keyboard with the Rolling Stones, now on their 14 on Fire tour. In 2012, Chuck was honored with a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award for his work with the Allman Brothers Band.
Join Pacific Forest Trust at the forest event of the year—
April 24th, 6:00 PM, St. Francis Yacht Club
Dedicated Conservationist and Environmental Advocate
When Chuck isn’t on the road with the Stones, playing on tours and albums for a who’s who of other musical groups, or producinghis own critically acclaimed work, he and his wife, Rose Lane Leavell, run the 2,800-acre Charlane Plantation, a working forest in central Georgia, a portion of which is protected with a conservation easement. In 2012, Rose Lane was honored with Forest Landowner of the Year Award, and Chuck was named as a US Forest Service Honorary Forest Ranger. [...] Continue Reading…