Musician Chuck Leavell was among the local dignitaries on hand for Thursday’s public unveiling of a $25 million plan to bring apartments and other developments to downtown Macon. Joe Kovac Jr. email@example.com
The down-in-the-mouth recording palace was coming back to life.
Word had spread in recent days that the wasting-away Capricorn Records studio, now a cream-colored brick building that for decades has blended into a background of downtown Macon blahs, was again becoming a focal point.
So on Thursday, at the public unveiling of a $25 million plan to build apartments, offices and recording space for budding musicians, they called in a famous piano man and keyboardist, one who like other stars of old had made their marks at Capricorn.
Chuck Leavell, standing in what was once a studio there, addressed 100 or so locals who’d shown up for the mid-afternoon announcement.
“We had so much fun in this room and in the other rooms that exist in this building. We made a lot of great music,” Leavell said.
He spoke of Gregg Allman’s debut solo album, “Laid Back,” and Dickey Betts’ first solo, “Highway Call,” coming to life there. As did the Allman Brothers’ 1973 “Brothers and Sisters” album, which included the tunes “Ramblin’ Man” and “Jessica.”
A major component of the development, the rebirth of the building’s recording elements, has Mercer University ties. Mercer at Capricorn, as it is being called, will allow musicians from all genres a space — studios and rehearsal rooms — to perfect their crafts.
“It’s amazing to think that new life will be breathed into these walls and that music will be played here again,” Leavell, 63, said. [...] Continue Reading…
Georgia’s own Widespread Panic kicked off this year’s New Year’s Run at the Fox Theatre in Atlanta last night with a show that set the bar high for the rest of the three-night stand. The band honored a rock legend who recently passed and were joined for portions of both sets and the encore by keyboardist Chuck Leavell as part of an impressive opener at the Fox.
After opening with “Sell Sell,” Widespread Panic paid tribute to Motörhead bassist Lemmy – who passed away earlier this week – by covering “Ace Of Spades.” Panic first covered “Ace Of Spades” on Halloween in 2013 and had last performed the song on October 28, 2014. The first set rolled on with plenty of classics before former The Allman Brothers Band and current The Rolling Stones keyboardist Chuck Leavell came out for a trifecta of cover debuts to end the opening stanza. Up first was Son House’s “Low Down Dirty Dog Blues” which was followed by covers of The Stones’ “Dead Flowers” and the Allman Brothers Band’s “Jessica.” Leavell took his signature solo as part of the Panic debut of “Jessica.”
Chuck returned to the stage after a run of originals to start the second set. Leavell added vocals and keys to three covers he had played with Panic and reggae legend Jimmy Cliff at Lockn’ back in September – “Many Rivers To Cross,” “I Can See Clearly Now” and “Sitting In Limbo.” The latter led into “Drums” and a “Drums and Bass” segment which in turn gave way to “Blue Indian.” “Climb To Safety” and “Pigeons” closed out the set. Leavell was also on hand for the encore of “Blackout Blues” and “Porch Song.” [...] Continue Reading…
Saturday, Jan 12 marked the 30th anniversary of the passing of my friend and mentor, Ian Stewart. Stu was such an amazing guy and amazing piano player… and a true friend. He was very much like a big brother to me and was so welcoming and good to me when I came into the Rolling Stones family. I learned so much from him and am grateful beyond words to have known him and spent time with him. We all miss him and think about him all the time….we miss and love you, Stu! [...] Continue Reading…
We are very excited to announce the special guests for this year’s Mule Year’s Eve show at The Beacon Theatre in New York City. Please help us welcome: Steve Kimock, Lincoln Schleifer, Larry Campbell,Chuck Leavell, Jack Pearson Fan Page and Paul Riddle!
Beacon Theatre, New York, NY
Thu, Dec 31, 2015 @ 9:00 PM
Tickets are on sale now at http://bit.ly/Mule123115
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Clapton and Harrison can also be seen sharing the stage in this clip from the 1991 Live In Japan recording. Also in the mix are drummer Steve Ferrone, keyboardist Chuck Leavell and guitarist Andy Fairweather Low among others in this take on George’s “Give Me Love (Give Me Peace On Earth),” watch:
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TUSCUMBIA, ALA. – Harvey Thompson of the legendary group Muscle Shoals Horns said being inducted into the Alabama Music Hall of Fame will be a “fantastic” moment for him and his band members.
The Horns along with Donna Jean Godchaux-MacKay, producer Johnny Sandlin, rock band Wet Willie and keyboardist Chuck Leavell will be inducted into the hall of fame, The TimesDaily (http://bit.ly/1QywQDU ) reported. Each will be inducted Feb. 26 during an induction banquet in Florence.
Thompson, 74, joked “it’s about time” the group was inducted. The group also includes Charles Rose, Harrison Calloway and Ronnie Eades.
“I think they had mentioned that we might go in,” Thompson said. “I wasn’t real sure.”
The Muscle Shoals Horns launched four songs into the Billboard R&B charts, including “Born To Get Down,” which reached No. 8. The group reunited earlier this year, performing together for the first time in three decades.
“We worked up there for so long, it’s good the hall of fame people are recognizing some of the work we’ve done over the years,” Calloway said. “I’m elated to be a part of that scene.”
Leavell was a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award winner. He played keyboards with The Rolling Stones since the early 1980s.
Leavell played on Gregg Allman’s first solo album, and later became a member of the Allman Brothers Band. He also formed with the Southern jazz-rock group Sea Level, and has performed with Eric Clapton, George Harrison, Dr. John, John Mayer, Aretha Franklin, Linda Ronstadt and others. [...] Continue Reading…
Chuck Leavell of the Rolling Stones is helping raise awareness about the once-common tree that scientists are working to restore. (And you can help too.)
Billions of American chestnut trees once populated North America’s eastern forests, and until the late 1800s, one in every four hardwood trees in those woods was an American chestnut.
Reaching nearly 100 feet in height and 10 feet in diameter, centuries-old photos of the massive trees show people dwarfed by their size. The trees provided homes for various mammals, birds and insects, and people relied on them for food and building materials — until the American chestnut was virtually wiped out by disease.
In 1876, Japanese chestnut trees were imported to America, and they brought along a pathogenic fungus known as Cryphonectria parasitica. The Japanese trees were resistant to C. parasitica — which kills chestnut trees by cutting off their water and nutrient supply — but their American counterparts were highly susceptible to it.
The chestnut blight was first spotted in American in 1904, and within 50 years, C. parasitica had killed nearly 4 billion American chestnuts. Today, only a few hundred remain.
But that’s about to change.
Since the 1980s, scientists have been working to restore the tree to its native range, and the American Chestnut Foundation is leading the effort.
By selectively breeding the American Chestnut with blight-resistant Chinese chestnut, researchers have created a tree that’s genetically similar to the American chestnut but able to withstand C. parasitica. The tree is fifteen-sixteenths American chestnut and one-sixteenth Chinese chestnut.
“This is much more than just a tree. This is a miracle,” said tree farmer and Rolling Stones keyboardist, Chuck Leavell, who is featured in the new PSA promoting the foundation’s work. “Through the great work of the American Chestnut Foundation and other researchers, this [tree] is coming back.”
To learn more about the foundation and how you can help restore this threatened tree, visit the American Chestnut Foundation’s website. [...] Continue Reading…
Georgia claims a big piece of Chuck Leavell. After all, he often speaks about his beloved Charlane Plantation outside of Macon, has a residence in Savannah, and the Mother Nature Network, which he co-founded, is based in Atlanta.
But Leavell is an Alabama son, so it’s only fitting that we let him go for a brief moment to be inducted into the Alabama Music Hall of Fame.
On Feb. 26, he’ll receive an Alabama induction at the Marriott Shoals Conference Center in Florence, Ala., along with Grateful Dead vocalist Donna Jean Godchaux-McKay, record producer Johnny Sandlin, Southern rockers Wet Willie and the Muscle Shoals Horns.
Leavell, 63, was given similar honors in the Georgia Music Hall of Fame in 2004.
Earlier this year, Leavell had a bit of a homecoming when the longtime Rolling Stones’ keyboardist played with the band at Bobby Dodd Stadium. While he’s always remained busy, whether with John Mayer, Train or his own solo material, Leavell has had a busy run with the Stones and will head with them for a South American tour in February (the induction falls on a day off in Brazil).
Congrats to one of the true gentlemen in rock ‘n’ roll.
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RIP Alex Cooley…he was truly one of the Greats in rock promotion. He loved music, loved the artists he worked with and loved the fans. Alex, thanks for all you did for music, the bands and the fans. We’ll all miss you, my friend.
Alex Cooley, Atlanta’s legendary promoter, remembered. “Alex was, first and foremost, a fan,” recalls Chuck Leavell
The last time Chuck Leavell saw Alex Cooley was in June, when the Rolling Stones played Bobby Dodd Stadium. Cooley, who by then was having trouble getting around, couldn’t make it backstage, so Leavell, who plays keyboards for the Stones, came out to see him.
“We talked about how far we had come,” Leavell recalled. Boy, had they. Leavell and Cooley’s friendship stretched back some 45 years, to when Leavell was barely out of his teens and had moved from Alabama to Macon. The draw for the young Leavell was the legendary Capricorn Records, where founder Phil Walden recorded acts like the Allman Brothers Band, the Marshall Tucker Band, Dobie Gray, and Alex Taylor. As a fledgling promoter, Cooley was a vital cog in the Capricorn machine.
“He supported every band on the Capricorn label,” Leavell said of Cooley, who died on Tuesday at age 76. Leavell first met Cooley during the second iteration of the Atlanta International Pop Festival in July 1970. Leavell was playing in the backing band for Johnny Jenkins, a left-handed blues guitarist. (Jenkins wasn’t the only left-handed blues guitarist on the festival bill; the other was Jimi Hendrix.) Cooley was the lead promoter of the festival, which also featured B.B. King, the Allman Brothers Band, Bob Seger, and Procol Harum.
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