There are those whose first exposure to Cowboy came from its pair of songs included on the 1974 Gregg Allman Tour double-album. Led by Scott Boyer and Tommy Talton, the core writing duo that had retained the name of the group following its dissolution in 1972, the revamped Cowboy opened for Allman on his solo run as well as acted as his backing band and featured an electrified style saturated in funky soul, gospel, and blues that typified the quintessential sound of the mid-‘70s, with grooving electric piano and a horn section overflowing from the Hi-Fi. 5’ll Getcha Ten is not that Cowboy.
Built on acoustic guitars, gentle harmonies, and lyrics of personal reflection, the original sextet out of north Florida had far more pronounced country leanings, and after being shepherded by Allman’s brother Duane to the attention of Capricorn Records, released in 1970 its debut album, Reach for the Sky. This 1971 follow-up, now reissued, continued in that same vein, with Boyer’s maturing songwriting peaking on the album’s most famous track, “Please Be With Me.” Covered by Eric Clapton three years later on his classic 461 Ocean Boulevard, this version is actually one of two that the band recorded with Duane Allman on dobro; the other appearing on Allman’s posthumous anthology. On 5’ll it’s a slower, and more plaintive offering, surely a high-water mark among these dozen songs, but hardly reduces the album to “Please Be With Me” and eleven others. Quite the opposite.
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Chuck Leavell will be joning the Macon Pops Orchestra, along with several other special musical guests, to celebrate local artists from the past, present and future with “Music of Macon,” happening Saturday at the City Auditorium.
“First of all, this is a rare opportunity for me to play in my hometown, especially with the Macon Pops Orchestra,” Leavell said in a recent interview. “We will be doing some rock ’n’ roll songs with string arrangements.
“I want to thank my friend Steve Moretti, who is in charge of the Macon Pops, for the opportunity. I want to mention Jimmy Hall, formerly of Wet Willie, who will be doing some duets with me. Finally, I will be doing one piece with Robert McDuffie, a world class violinist who is located right here in Macon. It’s going to be a great evening.”
Leavell also will be joined by Amy Schwartz Moretti, Floco Torres, Daniel NeSmith, Louise Warren and Joshua Neal for an unforgettable night of local music. [...] Continue Reading…
Next month, Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe will play a three-night stand at Brooklyn Bowl in NYC from February 5 – 7. When the shows were originally announced, there was word themes and guests would be revealed soon and “soon” is now.
On February 5, KDTU will present Run DMC Remixed featuring Vokab Kompany, Roosevelt Collier and Robert Randolph. Then, on February 6, KDTU will present a celebration of Bob Marley’s 70th birthday featuring Collier and more special guests to be announced. For the February 7 finale, Denson and his mates will be joined by legendary keyboardist Chuck Leavell, Collier and another special guest that will be announced soon. Leavell is the Musical Director for The Rolling Stones, a band which Denson toured with towards the end of 2015, and was also a member of The Allman Brothers Band in the ’70s. [...] Continue Reading…
But for a real trip in the wayback machine, check out both of those numbers and more performed in 1983 at the Coffee Pot, with a band that included Betts, Allmans’ drummer Butch Trucks and keyboardist Chuck Leavell, and Wet Willie frontman Jimmy Hall.
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On one hand, the vibe of A Band Of Roadies comes as no surprise: after all, the band comprised members of the Allman Brothers Band’s road crew circa ’73-’74, along with some other players from the Macon, GA music scene at the time. This mix of covers and originals – infused with bluesy, jazzy grooves and adventurous jams – is exactly what you might expect from offshoots of the ABBfamily.
What is a pleasant surprise, however, is the fact that this is a great album made by some solid players. After all, just because theylugged the Allmans’ gear, it doesn’t guarantee they could play it … but A Band Of Roadies stands on its own hind legs as a cool chunk of early 70s bluesrock recently rediscovered.
If you’re familiar at all with ABB history, you’ll recognize some of the band members: the late Twiggs Lyndon – the Allmans’ original road manager – plays guitar; longtime road crew member Joseph “Red Dog” Campbell (who passed away in 2011) mans the drums, along with soundman Michael Artz; Buddy Thornton (who handled front-of-house sound for the Allmans) plays bass. Virginia Speed’s talents on piano earned her a job as a keyboard tech for the ABB; her killer Steinway work and lead vocals on the classic “Fever” demonstrate just how good she was. And Dave “Trash” Cole was actually working on the farm that the Allmans owned in Juliette, GA when Lyndon discovered he was also a wicked guitar picker. Cole was hired on as an ABB guitar tech – and he was a natural for the Almost Brothers lineup. [...] Continue Reading…
Several years ago, Citron received an electronic keyboard from his wife for his 40th birthday. Citron had taken piano lessons a few times during his life, but as a lifelong rock ‘n’ roll fan, he had little desire to learn the compositions of Chopin or Liszt — or the contemporary music his teacher offered.
“My teacher sounded like Neil Sedaka, so I quit,” he said.
What Citron really wanted to do is to play like rock keyboardists such as Chuck Leavell, the legendary piano player for the Rolling Stones, the Allman Brothers Band and Eric Clapton, among others.
He and Leavell met each other at a seminar that Leavell and other musicians were giving for New York City schoolteachers, and the two hit it off.
Leavell said when Citron approached him about the idea of teaching rock and blues-style piano, the concept piqued his interest.
“I spoke with Howard. He was this really intelligent guy who was an entrepreneur,” Leavell said. “I thought at this juncture, it was worth investigating, so we embarked on it.
Sometimes my passions for music and the environment come together in strange and wonderful ways. The recent Stones tour of Australia played in Sydney in November. This happened to be the same day that the sixth World Parks Congress opened, with both events in Olympic Park, home of the 2000 Sydney Olympics.
The World Parks Congress only happens once a decade, bringing together thousands of park managers with policymakers and politicians, scientists, landowners, indigenous peoples and many others for a bewildering smorgasbord of workshops, demonstrations, multimedia installations, and general craziness, sprawling across multiple buildings and courtyards across from the arena where the Stones played. The Sydney Congress attracted more than 6,000 people from 170 countries. If you’re interested in protected parks and care about sustainably managing the natural heritage of our planet, it’s the place to be.
Attendance is down, but spectacular ticket sales by One Direction, The Rolling Stones and Justin Timberlake, plus a series of blockbuster stadium shows, propelled the North American concert industry to a record 2014.
Boy band One Direction and former boy band member Justin Timberlake dominated the box office in 2014. Combined, their global tours grossed close to $500 million and sold more than 5 million tickets in a year where a diverse collection of acts — including The Rolling Stones, Beyoncé and Jay Z, Michael Buble, Luke Bryan and Drake — finished among Billboard Boxscore’s top 25 tours of the year.
Although overall end-of-year results for the touring industry aren’t as overwhelmingly positive as they were in 2013, data reported to Boxscore indicates that it was another record year for live music in North America. Domestic grosses are up 3.4 percent — more than the 1.7 percent increase of 2012 but just a fraction of 2013′s 26 percent increase. Those gains are largely attributable to higher ticket prices, given that North American attendance is down 1.5 percent compared with an increase of 23 percent in 2013. Global Boxscore data paints a less positive picture: Grosses and box office are down 3.8 percent and 6.3 percent, respectively, compared with increases of 30 percent and 26 percent in 2013.
Meet two piano professors from the South with two differing styles. First up, from Macon, GA, Chuck Leavell has played in a few of Rock’s most iconic bands, from the Allman Brothers to the Rolling Stones. And while piano might be his day job, he’s also a keeper of a Georgia forest and an honorary forest ranger! We talk to Chuck about his love of the keys and the trees. Then, it’s a lesson in New Orleans funk a la keyboard with Jon Cleary, who breaks down the elements and reveals the Latin tinge to New Orleans piano favorites.