Brian Blauser/Mountain Stage
Chuck Leavell performed on Mountain Stage.
Chuck Leavell performed on Mountain Stage. Brian Blauser/Mountain Stage
- "In the Wee Wee Hours"
- "Route 66"
- "King Grand"
- "Statesboro Blues"
Chuck Leavell is one of the most sought-after pianists in the world. Even if you didn't know it, you've heard his work with George Harrison, The Black Crowes and Eric Clapton. After touring with Dr. John in the late 1960s, Leavell joined the Allman Brothers Band in 1972, recording three albums with the quintessential Southern-rock group. When the Allmans disbanded, Leavell and Allman drummer Jaimoe Johanson started the jazz-fusion group Sea Level, which released five albums; its song "King Grand" pops up in this Mountain Stage performance.
In 1982, Leavell began leading The Rolling Stones' touring band, serving as musical director through 2007's "Bigger Bang" tour. His album, Live in Germany, is a two-disc set recorded during his "Green Leaves and Blue Notes" tour, and spanning some of his career highlights.
Through the years, Leavell also used his musical stature to raise awareness of forestry and conservation issues. He's also authored a book geared toward children, and has received multiple honors and awards for his activism.
Leavell is joined here by the Mountain Stage band, which features Charleston, W. Va., saxophonist Doug Payne and singer-songwriter/producer Don Dixon on bass. Dixon previously appeared on Mountain Stage, closing a set by Peter Bradley Adams. During his performance, Leavell makes reference to Mountain Stage pianist Bob Thompson, who preceded this set with a solo piano version of Duke Ellington's "In a Sentimental Mood."
This segment originally ran Oct. 22, 2008.