An Evening With Chuck Leavell

By  | November 28, 2019 | Filed under: News
An Evening With Chuck Leavell FLORENCE-Musician, conservationist, author, actor, and Rolling Stones musical director Chuck Leavell comes to the historic Shoals Community Theatre on December 14, 2019. The show starts at 7PM doors open at 6PM.
The Musician
At the age of 13, after seeing Ray Charles in concert, Chuck Leavell decided he wanted to make a living performing and recording music. At the age of 15, he made that decision a reality when he made his way to Muscle Shoals and played on Freddie North’s soul classic “Don’t Take Her, She’s All I Got” among other records. In 1970, Leavell moved to Macon, GA where he worked his way through the ranks at Capricorn Records while touring with Alex Taylor (brother of James Taylor), Dr. John, country legend Kitty Wells, The Marshall Tucker Band and others. In 1972 having just turned 20 years old, Leavell was asked to join the Allman Brothers Band. The first album he recorded with the band was Brothers and Sisters, which included the classics “Ramblin’ Man” and “Jessica.” The album hit number one on Billboard’s Pop charts, and he went on to record several more albums with them before the Allmans temporarily disbanded in 1976. Emerging from the break-up of the Allman Brothers Band, Leavell formed the rock/jazz/blues fusion group Sea Level with Allman’s drummer Jaimoe. The band toured relentlessly during the late ’70s and released five critically acclaimed albums. Catching the ears of and becoming friends with the late rock ‘n’ roll impresario Bill Graham and keyboardist Ian Stewart, the original “sixth” Rolling Stone, in 1982 he was invited to assume a significant keyboardist/vocalist/musical director role for the Stones that continues today. Says guitarist Keith Richards: “Without the continuity that Chuck brings to us, the Stones would not be the Stones.” Leavell describes his role with the Stones as a “sort of musical navigator” who keeps track of arrangements and keeps things balanced in addition to spicing up the music with his keyboards. In 1999, Leavell released his first seasonal album, What’s In That Bag? on Capricorn Records. Since that time it has become a holiday favorite and it continues to rate highly every year in Christmas CD sales. In 2001, Leavell released Forever Blue: Solo Piano, a collection of seven original songs and three classics including “Georgia On My Mind.” With this release, Leavell reached down deep in his soul and his roots and created an extraordinary piece of work. Forever Blue is still one of the most popular solo pianos CDs around.
His next release, Southscape has been described as “Southern Jazz”, and is Leavell’s musical portrait of the south he grew up in and still lives in today. The nine tracks include eight new songs written or co-written by Leavell and a wonderful re-visitation of the classic “Jessica” that he is so well known for.
The record-breaking 2005-2007 Rolling Stones’ “A Bigger Bang” tour marked Chuck’s 25th year with the band, and the 147 show tour proved yet again that the Stones are indeed the “World’s Greatest Rock ‘n Roll Band.” But Leavell didn’t stop at the end of that tour…he immediately put a band together in Germany and did his own tour of Europe in September of ’07 called “Green Leaves and Blue Notes” that resulted in his double disc live recording, “Live In Germany”, released in spring of 2008. Since then, he has continued recording with various artists growing his credits to recording credits to include artists such as David Gilmore, John Mayer, Dr. John, Eric Clapton (Unplugged album), Train, The Black Crowes, AC/DC, Gov’t Mule, James Otto, George Harrison, The Marshall Tucker Band, Blues Traveller, Aretha Franklin, Don Mclean, Hank Williams Jr, Bonnie Brammlett, Montgomery-Gentry, Miranda Lambert, Martina McBride, Heidi Newfield, Lady Antebellum, David Nail, Eric Church, The Allman Betts Band, Mike Gordon (of Phish), and more! In addition to recording with other artist, Leavell has released 6 albums of his own including “Chuck Gets Big” and “Back To The Woods: A Tribute To The Pioneers Of Blues Piano.”
The Conservationist
Recognized as a talented and respected musician, Chuck Leavell’s accomplishments as a conservationist and tree farmer are equally impressive. After studying forestry by correspondence and doing much of his homework while riding a tour bus with the Fabulous Thunderbirds in the mid ’80s, Leavell and wife Rose Lane White Leavell turned her family’s plantation near Macon, GA., into what has become a textbook tree farm.
Their work on Charlane Plantation has been recognized by several conservation organizations and Leavell, as comfortable on a tractor as a piano bench, is the only two-time recipient of the Georgia Tree Farmer of the Year award. In 1999, the American Tree Farm System selected Chuck and Rose Lane as the National Outstanding Tree Farmers of the Year. Leavell has also been cited by the National Arbor Day Foundation, the Georgia Conservancy, FFA and many other conservation organizations, and by the University of Georgia where the Leavells sponsor a scholarship. He also sits on several boards and committees of conservation organizations and is very active in forestry and conservation issues. Chuck Leavell’s book, Forever Green: The History and Hope of the American Forest (published by Evergreen Arts, released July of 2001) has been acclaimed by both the forestry and conservation communities, and has been nominated for several awards. Forever Green is now in it’s second edition in the US and has been translated and released in Germany and Austria.
Constantly searching and finding ways to improve both the wildlife management and forest management, Chuck and Rose Lane have observed and studied conservation techniques in Germany, Sweden, Canada, the United States, and other countries. It’s no wonder that Leavell happily welcomes musical challenges such as joining the Stones on their globe-circling tours and joyously returns home to the solitude of Charlane Plantation. There Leavell trades his rock ‘n roll garb for jeans and boots and zealously becomes a conservationist. In rural Georgia, you can find Leavell hugging a tree and declaring he’s fortunate to have three real passions in his life: “My family, my trees and my music.”
The Author and Actor
Along with being a musician and conservationist, Leavell is also an actor and published author. As an author, he has released three books related to conservation (“The Tree Farmer,” “Forever Green : The History and Hope of the American Forest,” and “Growing a Better America : Smart, Strong and Sustainable”) and one book related to his music career (“Between Rock and a Home Place”). As an actor, Leavell has appeared in “Jayne Mansfield’s Car,” “Johnnie B Good,” “Chuck Leavell: The Tree Man (Executive Producer),” and a host of music documentaries.
The Concert
The Shoals Community Theatre will be presenting “An Evening With Chuck Leavell” at 7pm on Saturday, December 14th, 2019. Come join us as chuck plays songs and tells stories from throughout his extraordinary career. Tickets are on sale for $50 Front Orchestra, $40 Back Orchestra, and $30 Balcony with a limited number of front row VIP tickets available for $75. VIP tickets include a meet and greet as well as a copy of Leavell’s latest CD and book. Please contact the Shoals Community Theatre box office to purchase VIP tickets.


Media Release/Shoals Theatre

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