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  • Chuck Leavell Discusses Back To The Woods

    Posted March, 2012

    If you’ve been following Boomerocity at all, you know that we’re absolutely nuts over Rose Lane and Chuck Leavell.  We have them placed on a very high pedestal for a lot of reasons – reasons such as their strong marriage (38 years and counting), their devotion to family as well as the incredible work in forestry and conservation.

    Of course, in the world of music, Chuck Leavell is one of THE class acts in rock and roll.  As noted in our interview with Chuck just slightly over a year ago (here), this man has tickled the ivories with the biggest names in rock and roll, R&B, country and other genres.  When you add to all of that his autobiography (Between Rock and a Home Place) and his books on forestry and conservation, I’d say that all of these accomplishments pretty much put Mr. Leavell in line for nomination into the Renaissance Man Hall of Fame.

    Leavell is now carving out yet another niche of excellence with his homage to the early greats of the blues piano via his latest album, Back To The Woods. If you love blues – and if you love piano – then you’re going to absolutely love this album and can read the Boomerocity review of it here.

    Chuck was kind enough to send me a review copy of Woods and before I could even finish my first pass at the disc, I fired off a note to him asking if we could chat about the album.  Ever the gentleman, he obliged.

    Before we hunkered down to chatting about Back To The Woods, I asked Leavell how things were going at the beautiful Charlane Plantation (which is on my bucket to visit). Not surprisingly, his response exhibited his love for not only the property but also the work associated with it.

    “We're doing great here. We had the best quail hunting season we've ever had, and in spite of the drought of 2011 (we were about 12 inches under for rainfall for the year), our forest and wildlife habitat are in fine shape. We have also started to experiment with retreats from time to time, which amounts to offering a few days here for folks to relax, take a forestry tour, walk our nature trail, paint (my wife, Rose Lane, is an artist), do photography, whatever…and be well fed in the process. We post the offerings on our site: www.charlane.com. We love what we do here and are very passionate about it.”

    When I asked him if he was happy with how his conservation work was going, with a healthy, balanced pride he said, “Very much so. The US Forest Service recently gave me an Honorary Ranger Award, which is as good - or better - than the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award we just got for the Allman Brothers Band. Chief Tom Tidwell came down to Atlanta to present it to me, along with about 100 uniformed Rangers in attendance. It was a very special day for me.

    “Also, we continue to grow at our environmental website, The Mother Nature Network (www.mnn.com). We are getting over 4 million visits a month, and recently passed the EPA in visits per month. MNN gives me a wonderful platform to keep folks in tune with environmental issues of all kinds - whether it's recycling, energy use, community and/or personal responsibility issues, we cover it all.

    “My recent book, Growing A Better America, is doing well and can now be found in over 20 airports across the country as well as online on my site, www.chuckleavell.com, Amazon, Barnes and Nobel, etc. So I continue to get my messages out there as best and as often as possible.”

    As we shifted gears to discuss Back To the Woods, I unashamedly gushed that my two favorites from the album are Loosing Hand and Boots and Shoes. I asked Chuck what drove him to tackle such a project.

    “It came at the suggestion of my son-in-law, Steve Bransford. Steve is a wonderful guy, and oh so smart. He is a PhD graduate from Emory University in Atlanta. His discipline is American History with an emphasis on visual arts and roots music. How cool is that? So Steve comes to me a little over a year ago and says, 'You know, there has been a lot of projects that celebrate folks like blues guitar players, blues songwriters and singers, jazz figures and such, but to my knowledge, no one has paid tribute to the early blues piano players . . . and I think you are the guy to do it’ and he hands me 3 CDs of some 150 early recordings to listen to. Much of it I was already aware of, but quite a lot of it was new to me.

    “So I began listening and eventually selected about 50 songs that I thought would be appropriate for me to interpret. From there, we culled it down to 15 for the project. These are mostly unknown or little known names - Leroy Carr, Little Brother Montgomery, Skip James - although we did cover an Otis Spann song and a very early Ray Charles song, both of which you mentioned. Losing Hand was recorded by Ray in 1953, I believe, and Boots and Shoes, the Spann track, was the most recent song in terms of the project - somewhere around 1963. Most of the other recordings we covered were pre-war era.”

    In explaining how working on Woods was different to work on than any of the previous albums - solo or otherwise – Chuck said, “It has this particular focus of paying homage to these blues pianists. We have a 16 page booklet in the package that gives some history of these artists, and explain the role of the piano during this period in American history. In terms of the music itself, my intention was to interpret them in a more modern setting, more modern arrangements…but keeping the essence of the songs intact. In doing that, it shows how these players have influenced my own style. It was a very targeted project.”

    Knowing that Leavell’s musical education is both broad and deep, I asked him how much of the music on Woods inspired him early in his career and how much of it he’s discovered later on in life.

    “Most of this music I discovered later in my career but I started listening to Ray Charles quite early on. My parents had some of his records and I just loved them. When I was about 13 I went with my sister, Judy, to a Ray Charles concert in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, where we grew up. It totally changed my life. I was already playing piano and guitar and that night I decided that I wanted to be a musician for the rest of my life.

    “Ray is still my true musical hero. The other artists came later for me.  Otis Spann played quite a lot with Muddy Waters and other Chicago blues artists. I probably started listening to that stuff when I was 17 or so. The more obscure artists on our project I probably became aware of around the early 70's and beyond. Hey! I'm still a student!”

    Like many of you, I can’t just listen to an album and enjoy the music.  I have to know not only who played on an album but who engineered it, where all it was recorded and, if the songs aren’t written by the recording artists, how did they come about selecting other peoples songs to record.  In the case of Back To The Woods, I was also curious as to how Chuck decided who would play on which songs.  For instance, did John Mayer say, "Hey!  I want to play on Wish Me Well and Boots and Shoes!"?

    “We were so fortunate to get them. Starting with Keith, I contacted him and he agreed to play on it, but I would have to do it in NY. As I was calling around to try and find a studio, I contacted John's right hand guy, Ken Helie. I had already been working with John on his record at Electric Lady Studios up there. I asked Ken if he had a contact at ELS for me to book some time. He came back to me to say that John would be happy for me to use some of his time that he had blocked out.

    “So that begged the question would John come and play, too? He agreed, and we got them both in the same day. It was so great. But before I got them, we had recorded most of the tracks in my friend Jim Hawkins' studio in Athens, Georgia, with a core band of me, Chris Enghauser on stand up bass and Louis Romonos on drums. Steve, my son-in-law and co-producer with me, suggested we invite Danny Barnes to come in. Danny is amazing, and I love his solo work. If you don't know him, you gotta check him out. His latest is called Rocket. Danny is multi-instrumental - plays guitar, banjo, tuba and more. He plays all of that on the record and also sings a duet with me on the Leroy Carr tune Memphis Town and does the lead vocal on Naptown Blues, a Carr song about the city of Indianapolis.

    “Steve also suggested getting Col. Bruce Hampton on Got To Go Blues and Candi Staton on a duet with me on Mean Mistreater. Candi does lead vocal on The Blues Is All Wrong. Then I got my old pals Randall Bramblett and Davis Causey on some tracks to round it out. We had so much fun!”

    >


    With Chuck’s mention of Candi Staton, I was reminded of her great gospel work in the 80’s so I asked him to expound on her inclusion on the album.

    “We were looking for a ‘female foil’ for me on a couple of songs. We tried to get Susan Tedeschi, but she was busy. Then we tried to get Grace Potter she showed interested, but she was also too busy to get to it. So Steve told me ‘do you remember Candi Staton? She lives near here’. I loved that idea. She had some great R & B hits in the late 60's and early 70's before she turned to mostly gospel, as you note. She came in and just nailed it. I'm booked for the New Orleans Jazz Fest on April 27th, and have secured Bonnie Bramlett to sing with me on the gig. She is great and I can't wait to do that gig. I'm bringing in Danny Barnes as well, and Randall's band will be the core.

    Concluding his comments about the actual recording of the album, Leavell adds, “Danny, Candi, Col Bruce, Randall and Davis were all done in Athens . . . but Keith and John were done in NY as noted previously.”

    Do any of these tunes generate special memories or have special meaning for Chuck?

    “Well, they all throw you back in time. I love the Ray tune, Losing Hand. Classic Ray when he was focusing more on blues than jazz, pop or country as he did later in his career. Pure blues, and he was a master.  I love the Little Brother Montgomery stuff, too, especially Vicksburg Blues, which I do on my own, piano and vocal. It is such a plaintive song and you can just feel the pain he's going through. I've been a Memphis Slim fan for a long time and getting John to play on Wish Me Well was perfect. He killed it. It was all a wonderful journey for me.”

    Piggy-backing on this same vein of thought, I asked Leavell if he knew if any of the tunes on the album had special meaning to any of his guest artists.

    Sure. Danny and Keith are both very well aware of most of this stuff - especially the Leroy Carr and Scrapper Blackwell (guitar) recordings. Danny and I actually talked about doing some Carr/Blackwell stuff a while back, but it didn't happen until I put this together.  A lot of what we unearthed was not known to the players and the guests - even me - until Steve turned me on to them. I'd never heard of Barrel House Buck McFarland, Leona Manning, Jesse James and some of the others.

    As I’ve said in other interviews, I quit asking an artist if they had a favorite song on their album – especially if they wrote the tunes themselves.  However, many artists feel that there’s a particular song that serves as a calling card, if you will, for the rest of the album.  When I asked Chuck if he felt there’s such a song on Woods, he replied, “Ouch! That is a tough one, and a bit unfair to ask. It's like picking a favorite child. I guess if you push me to the wall, since Ray Charles is still my hero, I'd point to Losing Hand, but they are all about equal to me.

    As to the question of whether he will be supporting the disc with any public performances or touring, in answering it Leavell shared some insight into the recent announcement by John Mayer that he was cancelling his scheduled tour and how that impacted him.

    “Well, at present we all know that I was supposed to tour with John Mayer this year. We had put together a fantastic band, and I had worked on his new release, Born and Raised, over the course of the last year. I think it's a wonderful piece of work, and we were all (including John) so looking forward to the tour.

    “But then his throat problem, a thing called a granuloma which is kind of like a blister growth in between his vocal chords, returned after his surgery and 4 months of treatment and recovery. We were in LA just in our fourth day of rehearsals - all going so great when he began to struggle. He saw his Dr. that evening and we all got the bad news:  the tour had to be cancelled.

    “It was a big blow to all of us, but especially for John. We'll all be fine, and I'm grateful that I got to play on Born and Raised, which is now out and that I got to do Back To The Woods. So yes, I'll be focusing on that now. We're still reeling from the cancellation now and I'm starting to sort out ‘Plan B’. But life goes on, and things will take their natural course. I know we all send love to John and hopes for a full recovery down the road. He's a very special man and a very special talent.

    As we wrapped up our chat, I asked Chuck if it was too soon to ask what's next from him in the way of books, CDs (like, maybe, a follow up to Woods?) and/or DVDs.

    “I'll do some dates of my own to promote Back, I'll spend some time on MNN business, and I'll be able to do work on Charlane Plantation. I'm also in discussions with a writing partner to do a book about musicians that have played a significant role with a band or artist, but that are little known names. I had the pleasure recently to be in Billy Bob Thornton's next film, Jayne Mansfield's Car. I have two short cameos in it - one where I'm playing in a band at a street party and another in a barber shop where I deliver a line to Robert Duval. It was a real hoot, and I'm grateful to Billy for including me. He's a good friend and a great guy. The film will probably come out in the fall of this year, but no solid release date yet. It's a great script with some fine actors. Billy is in it as well as having co-witten and directed it. Kevin Bacon, John Hurt and others. I'll also start thinking about my next musical project - maybe a country record . . . not sure yet.”

    Then, closing with just a bit of a tease, Chuck adds, “And of course there are those Brits that might decide to come out of hiding one of these days. We'll see. One day at a time.”

    Now, who do you suppose Chuck would be referring to?

  • Chuck Leavell Interview 2011

    Posted January/February, 2011

    Photo Courtesy of Chuck Leavell

    The Allman Brothers. Don McLean. Bonnie Bramlett. Marshall Tucker Band. Charlie Daniels. Sea Level. Aretha Franklin. Chuck Berry. Dion. Gov't Mule. The Black Crowes.  Eric Clapton. Larry Carlton. George Harrison. Rolling Stones.

    How would you feel if those names were on your resume in some form or fashion?  I can tell you that if my resume had those names, my head would swell to twice the size of Texas.

    Chuck Leavell’s resume includes those names and many, many more. When you add to that the credentials of an expert forester, conservationist, author, husband, father, and grandfather and you get an idea of who the man really is.  All of that and, yet, his head retains its normal size and shape.

    How does he do it?  I don’t know but my head did swell just a little bit when I had the good fortune of posing a few questions to the legendary keyboardist.  I pursued an interview with Leavell after reading his 2004 book, Between Rock and a Home Place. As a huge Rolling Stones fan, I, of course, knew about of Chuck’s monumental work with the band and with his own band, Sea Level.  I just wasn’t aware of the huge volume of other work he’s associated with.

    I was also aware of his conservation work – especially at his beautiful home, the family tree farm known as Charlane Plantation. The plantation, in the family since 1932, was inherited by Chuck’s lovely wife of 37 year, Rose Lane, after the passing of her grandmother.   After working their way out of onerous inheritance taxes, Rose Lane and Chuck have developed a thriving, successful tree farm that also hosts hunting and other kinds of retreats.

    It was about Charlane Plantation that I opened the discussion with Leavell, asking about what were the latest developments at the farm.

    “We are always working on our place. My wife, Rose Lane, says it means ‘job security’ for me as I will never get done! Currently we have a good bit of maintenance going on. We’ve just started renovating the exterior of our horse barn, the upstairs of which serves as Rose Lane’s art studio. We built the barn some 18 years ago using lumber that was taken from our own trees . . . mostly ones that were dead or dying… and it’s time to polish it up some.

    “We also just finished renovating an old tenant house into a nice guesthouse. We’ve built most all of our structures out of our own wood, and most of the renovations we’ve done to our existing structures as well. It’s quite a good and special feeling to look at them, walk through them and say… ‘yeah, that came

    Chuck Leavell With Grandson, Miles - Courtesy of Chuck Leavell

    from our own grounds’ . . . and to think that our grandchildren and future generations will be saying ‘our grandparents (or great-grandparents) built that back in 1990’, or whenever we built or renovated any particular structure on our place.

    “Of course, we’re always working in the woods, too. We did some light thinning of a few areas last year that had yet to be thinned - sort of like weeding the garden. We probably touched on 150 acres or so, opening the stands up to a slightly wider spacing, which will help the trees left standing grow much better and faster. It also helps encourage natural grasses, weeds and legumes to grow better underneath the stands, making it more attractive for wildlife.

    “We are in the middle of our hunting season, and January and February are booked pretty solid with our traditional southern quail hunts. I’ve been working some new dogs, which I love doing…so there has been quite a lot going on.”

    When I asked if he was the Ted Nugent of Georgia, Chuck’s response polite but direct.

    “With all due respect to Nugent, he’s an ethical and expert outdoorsman, but he’s a bit radical for me. I try to take a more gentle and gentlemanly approach to our hunting. As far as what we offer the public, it’s again, the traditional southern quail hunts, from November through the end of February. We have the jeeps, dogs, excellent guides and have a top notch and top class operation. We have several comfortable accommodations. Our lodge was built about 8 years ago, again, with our own resources and we renovated a historic 1830’s home back in the early 90’s that we use as well.

    “Rose Lane directs our staff in terms of the food, etc. and we have lots of repeat clients year after year. During the off season, we offer ‘retreats’ from time to time. Since Rose Lane is an excellent artist, some of these are centered around art. But some folks like to come just to be in the country, take a tour, walk our nature trail and such. We enjoy sharing our place and meeting new people, helping them to understand and appreciate nature and conservation issues. It makes for a good balance with our ‘other life’ of rock and roll.”

    Leavell wrote in his book, Between Rock and a Home Place, that, because of the predatory nature of our rich Uncle Sam’s inheritance tax code, he and Rose Lane had to sell off a big chunk of the original plantation.  In the seven years since that book was published, I asked if they were able to re-purchase the property.

    “No, that property was in another county, about 50 miles from us. It was about 300 acres of land that Rose Lane’s grandfather had passed on down. It was heartbreaking and really hurt to have to sell it, but we didn’t see any other way out at the time. While we’ve never recovered that tract, the good news is that through the years we have been able to acquire more land, much of which was adjacent to us. Rose Lane inherited about 1100 acres back in 1981 and we now have about 2500 acres, 1800 that is contiguous to her inheritance.”

    Before shifting my questioning to his other conservation endeavors, I asked Leavell what their long term plans for Charlane were.

    “We will continue to manage it as best we know how, and to share it with others through our hunts and retreats. Of course, I would love to continue to expand it, but it’s getting really hard to do because of how expensive land is. While the housing market across America has been hit hard as we all know - and prices for normal housing has dipped - that has not been the case for most timberlands, agricultural lands and recreational lands. It takes a lot of resources to purchase these kinds of lands and to maintain them. But I’m always hopeful that we can find select opportunities. We all know that old phrase, ‘land rich and cash poor’. That applies to a lot of landowners I know. I don’t think anyone would be impressed with our bank account but I’d rather have the land than bits of paper.”

    Chuck is a self-taught forestry expert, having begun his studies while touring with The Fabulous Thunderbirds.  Since then, he’s gained much respect and notoriety as an expert in forestry and conservation, having been award many awards and acknowledgements.  He’s also written two books on the subject with a third on the way.

    Before venturing into the finer points of this field of his expertise, I swallowed my pride and asked Leavell what the difference was between a conservationist and an environmentalist.

    “It’s a good question. I like to think that we are both. The definition of conservation is, in part, ‘The action of conserving something, in particular protection, or restoration of the natural environment, natural ecosystems, vegetation, and wildlife; the preservation, repair, and prevention of deterioration of archaeological, historical, and cultural sites and artifacts; and the prevention of excessive or wasteful use of a resource.

    “In a nutshell, I think it means to be wise and careful with the resources that you have - to practice a sort of sustainability. I tell people that trees are an organic, natural and renewable resource. We all use things that come from trees every day of our lives - wood furniture, our homes, musical instruments, books, and so many other things. As a conservationist, I want to use this resource for these many fine things but I want to make sure that I am doing it in a way that is conserving the resource - that is, in a way that will assure me it will always be there.

    “As for the word ‘environmentalist’, the definition in part is: A person who is concerned with or advocates the protection of the environment . . . who considers that environment, as opposed to heredity, has the primary influence on the development of a person or group.

    “This can get a bit complicated, and the ‘catch’ is how far you take the second part of the above definition. I certainly care deeply about our environment and want to keep it healthy and vibrant. But when it comes to making certain decisions about what to do with our lands and how that affects us as humans, hard choices have to be made from time to time. We all have to have places to live, to work, for our kids to go to school, etc. So, while it might not be the best thing for our environment to build such structures, or to build more highways, rail systems, expand airports and such, it’s inevitable that we are going to do it. We have to make compromises.

    “Actually, this is the subject of my new book, Growing A Better America, that will be out in mid March of this year. It’s about making careful and thoughtful choices about how we are going to grow. We have 310 million people in our country now, and predictions are that we’ll have 400 million around 2040. There are about 6.8 billion on the planet, and predictions are to have 9 billion by 2045. We are going to have to make some critical choices about accommodating that kind of growth, and how that will affect our environment.

    “My book talks about ‘smart growth’, and looks at positive models of community design, community expansion and such. I get in to energy issues; transportation issues; keeping our carbon footprint as low as possible; preserving natural areas when possible; the importance of green spaces in our metropolitan areas and much, much more.

    “I know that’s a long answer, but I think it’s important that people have an understanding of these things.”

    Chuck Leavell With The Rolling Stones - Courtesy of Chuck Leavell

    As a direct result of Chuck’s incredible accomplishments in conservation and forestry, he co-founded The Mother Nature Network and serves as its the Director of Environmental Affairs.  When I asked what the latest developments are at MNN, he answers with the same kind of pride as he does when speaking of Charlane or his musical work.

    “MNN has been a phenomenal journey for me. My partner, Joel Babbit, had the idea to build the site and asked me to participate. He has had a life long successful career in public relations and advertising, serving really big clients like Coca-Cola, Dell Computer and others. We’ve been friends for a while, and he came to me one day saying that his clients wanted to get out to the public over the Internet all the things they were doing to “green” their businesses. And by the way, these companies and all the companies that are sponsors with MNN are doing some great things in that regard.

    “Anyway, Joel did not feel comfortable with any of the existing environmental sites in terms of placing ads and getting messages out on behalf of his clients. After discussing it in depth and doing a lot of research, we looked at each other and sort of said at the same time: ‘should we build it?’ So, we did.

    “Through Joel’s connections, we raised commitments of up to ten million dollars to get started. He resigned his position as CEO of GCI, a huge firm he was heading up, and we went to work. We hired really talented and dedicated enviro-journalists, website developers and other staff and opened our offices in Atlanta. We launched in January of 2008 on a wing and a prayer. Since then we have grown from a ranking of something like number 7,200 on the list of environmental websites to be the number one most visited independent environmental site in the world.

    “I have to give credit to our incredible staff.  We have really great folks - about 25 at present - working for us. Joel and I are elated with the progress. The last numbers I had are that we are getting over 2 million unique visits a month, and about 12 million page views per month and still climbing each month. We actually became profitable towards the end of last year, which is quite amazing for any website in 2 years time. We thought it would take at least 5 years to get into the black, so we’re thrilled.”

    With public discourse often dominated by subjects to protecting and preserving the environment, I asked if there is anything that keeps him awake at night from a conservation perspective.

    “There are a lot of things that I’m concerned about. I described some of that in talking about my new book, but in terms of forestry alone, I have many worries. One is that we have seen a great deal of our industry move offshore in the past 10 years or so. This is for many reasons. Like so many other industries, companies find that labor is cheaper in other countries; there is less regulation in other countries; less cost for construction, cheaper land and so forth.

    “I’m not suggesting that we should do the same thing some of these countries are doing, because some of their practices are not good for the environment and somewhat suppressive on their labor force. But any way you look at it, it has caused a huge drop in US forestry markets. What people have to understand about this is that to a degree, it’s ‘use it or lose it’. In other words, if folks like me and so many other family forest landowners don’t have a decent market, there is no good reason for us to keep our lands in trees. So when that happens, families begin to sell their lands. They can’t afford to pay the taxes, the upkeep, etc. and they are backed up against a wall. I’m not saying it’s that bad at the moment, but if the markets for wood keep going down it will definitely get that bad.

    “Other concerns include that tax structure for forest lands, the uncertainty of biomass and carbon markets, the pressures of growth and development, outbreak of diseases and insects, severe weather events and more.”

    Before moving my questions to music related subjects, I asked Leavell what homeowners, or those who don’t even own a home, can do to green up America and the world from a forestry perspective.

    “Anyone can plant a tree. There are many programs around the country where they give out trees to people. Plant a tree in your yard, your neighborhood, your school, your church. I also encourage people to conserve. Turn out the lights when not in use, set the thermostat at a reasonable temperature, drive less when you can and walk or bike to work. Talk to your neighbors about keeping your parks in good shape. Consider buying Energy Star appliances when you need to replace your refrigerator, washing machine, dryer, whatever. I give a lot of these and much, much more in Growing A Better America.

    Chuck Leavell has played keyboard for the Rolling Stones for almost 30 years. As I said at the beginning of this interview, he has also played with other of the biggest names in rock. What many people may not know is that he has also produced several solo albums and is working on a new solo project. I asked Chuck about the album.

    “The working title is Back To The Woods and it is a tribute to pioneering blues piano players from the 30s/40s/50s era. Most of the songs come from artists that are little known: Little Brother Montgomery, Skip James, Leroy Carr, Jesse James and others. I did do a very early Ray Charles track called Losing Hand, and an Otis Spann tune called Boots and Shoes, but those would be the two best-known names.

    “I’ve been recording it up in Athens, Georgia, at Jim Hawkins’ studio. Jim was a principal engineer at Capricorn Studios back in the 70’s and actually built Capricorn in part. He has a nice, comfortable space in Athens now. I used Chris Enghauser on stand up bass and Louis Romanos on drums - both live in Athens and are great players. So far I have Danny Barnes (renown banjo player and guitarist), (guitarist) Bruce Hampton and Randall Bramblett (Sea Level, Traffic, Steve Winwood, Levon Helm and Bonnie Raitt, among others) as guest artists, and have some commitments from others, including Keith Richards. I’m about 80% done with it and hope to finish it by March. No release date yet, but probably May or June.


    In describing his solo work, Leavell says, “Well, I am first and foremost a piano player. That’s what most of my own CDs center around. I might throw in a bit of Hammond B-3 or Wurlitzer now and again, but it’s mostly piano. In terms of style, I’ve been influenced by a wide range of great players, and I think my style reflects that. You’ll hear tinges of blues, rock, jazz, and country, but hopefully you’ll say ‘that sounds like Chuck’.

    “It takes a long time to develop your own sound and style as a player, and hopefully I’ve done that. I don’t think of myself as some ‘master’ player - just an honest one. I do my best to paint pictures with the notes I play - to project emotion, color, and feeling. That’s about the best I can do to describe myself. Perhaps descriptions are best left to others.

    Early in his book, Between Rock and a Home Place, Chuck shared how his late mom talked to him about how he played his music, leading him towards how to inject various feelings into the sounds he produced on the piano. When I asked Leavell if he still feels that she still “speaks” to him today in how he plays today, his reply was short, sweet and from the depths of his heart.

    "Every day, in every note I play."

    From a fan’s perspective, it’s hard for me to think that, with the musical resume that Chuck has, there would be anything left that he hasn’t done musically. However, I had to ask him what he hasn’t done that he would still like to do.

    “Fortunately, I’m still getting calls to work with other artists. I still love working with those I’ve worked with in the past, but also like the challenge of working with those I haven’t. Recently I recorded with John Mayer in NY for a week. Fantastic session, fantastic artist. I hope I get another round with John some time this year. Next week I record for about 10 days with Martina McBride. So, I just take it one day at a time and hope the phone keeps ringing! Of course I’ll continue to do my own stuff as well. I know the Stones have been contemplating their options, but they have not come to any final decisions, so we’ll all have to wait on that. I can tell you that I’m ready when they are.”

    Photo Courtesy of Chuck Leavell

    Later, Chuck said about his contribution to the Mayer disc, “It was mostly Hammond B-3, but I did play a bit of Whurly and a pump organ on a couple of things. John is an amazing talent. He wrote three of the songs we did right on the spot. He’s got tremendous and infectious energy.”

    I don’t know what on earth possessed me to do this, but I dropped some names from Chuck’s musical past and asked him to share what comes to mind regarding his thoughts about the following musical greats:

     Ray Charles: “The MASTER. Probably my main influence.”

     George Harrison: “One of the sweetest guys on the planet. Truly as great a humanitarian as he was a singer/songwriter/performer.”

     Duane Allman: “Changed the direction of the electric guitar with his slide playing. Never got to know him personally, but always admired him and heard him play many times. Unquestioned and unbridled passion in his playing.”

     Eric Clapton: “Well, he’s Eric Clapton, isn’t he?! Eric likes exploring, changing, experimenting and I have always appreciated him for that. He doesn’t rest on his laurels and isn’t afraid to try things.”

     Gregg Allman: “In the top five of the greatest blues singers ever. A good friend. A survivor.”

     Ronnie Wood: “Effervescent, fun, diversely and multi-talented. Made me feel at home when I came into the Stones, for which I’m forever grateful.”

     When asked if there is any talent that is commanding his attention, Leavell shares that, “I’ve been listening a bit to Grace Potter (and the Nocturnals) and like her stuff. Not complicated, but with deep soul.  I like that. I honestly haven’t been to many concerts in the last couple of years, so can’t say much about live performances I’ve heard. I played with Keith Urban on the Jimmy Fallon show, and have come to really admire his artistry. I’m trying to learn a bit of mandolin, and have been listening to some bluegrass players. Love Chris Thele, Doyle Lawson, Sam Bush. I don’t listen too much to contemporary radio much these days, so I’m not the best person to ask about hits on radio.”

    Since he’s seen a lot of changes in the music business, I asked Chuck what he thought it was going to take to save the business.

    “Man, that’s too deep for me to get into, but I will say that if something isn’t done to improve how musicians and artists are paid for downloads and preventing illegal downloads, it’s going to be a tough future. The genie is out of the bottle, and I don’t know if it will ever be back in. We’ve lost a lot of control over how our recorded music is sold.”

    Wrapping up my time with Chuck, I asked if we were going to see him on the road with anyone any time soon.  While I wasn’t hinting for some advanced info about a Rolling Stones tour, he does comment about it at the end of his answer: “I have very few select solo shows booked - playing Macon at the Cox Capitol Theater Jan 22nd with the Randall Bramblett Band, and a gig at the Wheeler Opera House on March 12th. Other than that, I’ll be promoting my book and finishing my CD as well as doing the sessions I have booked. Nothing to report at present on Stones activity.”

    After the interview was over, I reflected on the vast, rich body of work that Chuck has.  From his iconic keyboard work on the landmark Allman Brothers tune, Jessica, to the Stones, Clapton and many others, I just ran the music through my mind and smiled.  Like the beautiful trees of Charlane Plantation, Chuck Leavell’s work shades our entire musical landscape with the beauty of his work.

    You can find out more about Chuck, his music, his books, and his conservation work at the following websites:



    www.chuckleavell.com      www.charlane.com      www.mnn.com

     

  • My Cross to Bear

    mycrosstobearcover1My Cross to Bear
    Author: Gregg Allman with Alan Light
    Publisher: William Morrow
    Release Date: May 1, 2012
    Review Date: April 29, 2012

    I’ve read lots of autobiographies by lots of musicians. I don’t know what it is about them that make them so “warts and all” story tellers but they are. I guess it’s in their DNA or something.

    The latest tome that supports this trend is the very frank and revealing autobiography by Gregg Allman (with some help from Alan Light). I wondered why the title wasn’t I’m No Angel but that would have been too obvious of a title. After reading the book, I like My Cross to Bear better. It’s much more applicable.

    Told from the perspective of one who is fully recovered from his indulgences and demons, Allman tells it like it was and is. In fact, there doesn’t seem to be any part of Mr. Allman’s life that isn’t covered – and frankly at that. Allman’s love and constant and likely daily remembrance of his late brother and mentor, Duane, is evident throughout the book. Gregg shares very openly about the lasting impact the premature and tragic death of his big brother has had on him and the band. More than that, though, is the good memories of Duane that are shared as are the fights and bickering that are natural between siblings.

    Speaking of bickering, the inter-band turmoil within the Allman Brothers Band is shared in a matter-of-fact manner. I’m sure that, after the book is out and have had time to be read by those mentioned in the book, they just may want to throw in their two cents worth. Not that Allman is mean or vindictive. No, far from it. He just says what he has to say in his plain, no-nonsense manner and from his perspective. Plain and simple.

    Allman shares stories about life on the road, in the studio, in his homes and in his six marriages and countless other relationships. We are also given great insight to his health problems including his liver transplant that took place in 2010.

    With all that hard living, all the battles, all the turmoil, Allman has come to a place at this stage of his life where he is at peace with himself, with God and many who he has had conflict with. He goes into some detail about this in the last chapter of the book which is my most favorite chapter.

    What does he say? Buy it and find out.

  • Skydog

    skydogcoverSkydog
    Artist: Duane Allman
    Label: Rounder Records
    Released: March 19, 2013
    Reviewed: March 17, 2013

     

    There’s something about the Allman Brothers’ music that lends itself to servicing as definitive benchmarks or mile-markers across the 70’s all the way through today.  I was first turned on to the Allman Brothers in 1971 or 1972 by my best friend in junior high, Jim Hughes.  The song that got me hooked was Whipping Post.  Jim tried his darndest to mimic Duane Allman’s guitar licks.  In 1989, I learned that Jim had died when a car he was working on fell on him.  Immediately, Whipping Postcame to my mind and to this day, every time I hear that song, I immediately flashback to those carefree days of my youth.

    Like my friend, Jim, I couldn’t help but be amazed at Duane Allman’s guitar virtuosity in the band that he formed and his brother, Gregg, played keyboards in. Even if he’d never formed the Allman Brothers Band, Duane Allman would be a major figure in American popular music. Long before his name became known to mainstream audiences, he had already established his credentials as a once-in-a-lifetime guitar visionary, leaving his unmistakable stamp on a broad array of recordings. Rounder Records, a division of Concord Music Group, offers Duane Allman fans the most ambitious retrospective of his short but influential career titled Skydog: The Duane Allman Retrospective.

    The deluxe seven-disc collection, carrying a list price of $139.98, contains the guitarist’s best-known and most commercially successful recordings with the Allman Brothers Band and Derek & the Dominos, as well as session work with Aretha Franklin, Wilson Pickett, Boz Scaggs, Clarence Carter, King Curtis, Delaney & Bonnie & Friends, Ronnie Hawkins, Otis Rush, Laura Nyro, Lulu, the Sweet Inspirations, Laura Lee, Spencer Wiggins, Arthur Conley, Willie Walker, the Lovelles, the Soul Survivors, Johnny Jenkins, John Hammond, Doris Duke, Eric Quincy Tate, Herbie Mann and more.

    The set was produced by Galadrielle Allman (Duane’s daughter) and two-time Grammy® winning producer Bill Levenson. Rounder Records’ Scott Billington served as executive producer. Scott Schinder contributed comprehensive historical liner notes, complemented by additional notes by Galadrielle Allman.

    In her recollection of her father, who died when she was a young child, Galadrielle writes, “I am very lucky that my father is Duane Allman, an artist who left behind a wealth of incredible music . . . Working on this retrospective, I have gotten closer than I ever have been to understanding my father’s development as a musician and a man.”

    Duane Allman, known to his bandmates as Skydog, was born in Nashville in 1946. With Gregg, his only sibling, Duane had his first moment of musical revelation upon witnessing a late ’50s R&B bill that featured B.B. King and Jackie Wilson. By 1960, both Duane and Gregg owned guitars and played in a series of neighborhood garage bands in Tennessee and Florida. Continuing their interest in blues and R&B in the shadow of blues radio station WLAC-AM’s continent-spanning signal, as well as absorbing the influence of the British Invasion, the brothers launched the Escorts in 1965 and the Allman Joys, who recorded a handful of sides in Bradley’s Barn in Nashville in 1966. By 1967, Duane and Gregg signed to Liberty as the Hour Glass and recorded two albums in Nashville and Los Angeles. When the band sought to defy the label and spread its musical wings, they were dropped. The brothers returned to Florida, hooked up with drummer Butch Trucks, and recorded two sides as the 31st of February, and later at Ardent Studio in Memphis as the Bleus.

    By this time Duane had developed a reputation as a leading session guitarist. He was on Fame Studio’s A list, his guitar licks coloring hits by Wilson Pickett. Atlantic Records producer and executive Jerry Wexler took note and hired him to perform on Atlantic sessions by King Curtis, Otis Rush, Arthur Conley, the Soul Survivors and Sweet Inspirations. Wexler signed him to a solo Atlantic deal, resulting in a session that contained the raucous original “Happily Married Man” and more. The session, contained on the Skydog set, was abandoned mid-stream. But by then Capricorn Records’ Phil Walden had noticed the rumblings from Muscle Shoals. Duane gathered up brother Gregg, Dickey Betts, Berry Oakley, Butch Trucks, Jai Johanny Johanson and others and the Allman Brothers Band was born.

    According to reissue annotator Schinder, “The [Allman Brothers Band’s] music was complex and adventurous, yet unfailingly accessible. The subtle and harmonic interplay between Duane and Dickey’s dual lead guitars was matched by the three-man rhythm section’s surging, swinging cross-rhythms, with Gregg’s massively expressive singing and organ playing keeping the music firmly grounded in human emotion.” The band’s profile grew with each release — the self-titled debut, Idlewild South and eventually the band’s breakthrough, At Fillmore East.

    Testament to his energy and ambition, Duane still found time for side projects. When bandmates would hole up at home after tours, Duane joined fellow world-class guitarist Eric Clapton on Derek & the Dominos’ Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs. While not an official member, he quickly emerged as a major contributor to the classic album, his twin guitar interplay with Clapton shaping the hits “Layla” and “Why Does Love Got To Be So Sad.” He also worked with Delaney & Bonnie & Friends and Laura Nyro between Allman Brothers Band projects.

    By then acknowledged as one of rock’s premier guitarists, Duane and the Allman Brothers Band began recording their follow-up to At Fillmore EastEat a Peach. Tom Dowd, another legendary Atlantic house producer, oversaw sessions at Criteria Studios. Then on October 29, 1971, four days after Fillmore had been certified gold, Duane was riding his motorcycle and swerved to avoid hitting a truck. He crashed and died of internal injuries. He was 24 years old.

    The band forged ahead as a quintet on Eat a Peach, which became one of their best selling albums. The Allman Brothers, led by Gregg Allman and Butch Trucks, continue to perform to this day.

    Schinder notes, “More than four decades after his death, Duane Allman remains a towering figure whose stature has only increased in his absence. His influence lives on, not only in the multiple generations of guitarists who have been motivated by his input, but also in the legions of listeners who have continued to find inspiration in his vibrant vision of American music, which remains as fresh and truthful today as when it was created.”

     “When a musician of my father’s caliber dies, every note he ever recorded becomes even more precious,” writes Galadrielle. “Each song is pressed into the service of telling his story. The longer Duane is gone, the clearer it becomes that there will never be another like him.”

    Over seven discs, Skydog tells the Duane Allman story with rare and never-before-heard gems alongside smash hits.

    For me, I go straight to Disc Four, cut three, Whipping Post, I salute my late, good friend, Jim Hughes.

     

    Disc One

      1    THE ESCORTS  Turn On Your Love Light  2:33

      2    THE ESCORTS  No Name Instrumental  3:13

      3    THE ESCORTS  What’d I Say  4:04

      4    THE ALLMAN JOYS  Spoonful  2:27

      5    THE ALLMAN JOYS  Gotta Get Away  2:38

      6    THE ALLMAN JOYS  Shapes Of Things  2:47

      7    THE ALLMAN JOYS  Crossroads  3:32

      8    THE ALLMAN JOYS  Mister, You’re A Better Man Than I  4:45

      9    THE ALLMAN JOYS  Lost Woman  5:23

    10    HOUR GLASS  Cast Off All My Fears  3:31

    11    HOUR GLASS  I’ve Been Trying  2:39

    12    HOUR GLASS  Nothing But Tears  2:29

    13    HOUR GLASS  Power Of Love  2:51

    14    HOUR GLASS  Down In Texas  3:08

    15    HOUR GLASS  Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)  3:01

    16    HOUR GLASS  B.B. King Medley 7:07

    17    HOUR GLASS  Been Gone Too Long  3:03

    18    HOUR GLASS  Ain’t No Good To Cry  3:08

    19    31ST OF FEBRUARY  Morning Dew  3:46

    20    31ST OF FEBRUARY  Melissa  3:12

    21    THE BLEUS  Milk And Honey  2:34

    22    THE BLEUS  Leavin’ Lisa  2:43

    23    THE BLEUS  Julianna’s Gone  2:59

     

    Disc Two

      1    CLARENCE CARTER  The Road Of Love  2:54

      2    CLARENCE CARTER  Light My Fire  2:49

      3    WILSON PICKETT  Hey Jude  4:06

      4    WILSON PICKETT  Toe Hold  2:49

      5    WILSON PICKETT  My Own Style Of Loving  2:41

      6    WILSON PICKETT  Born to Be Wild  2:45

      7    LAURA LEE  It’s How You Make It Good  2:32

      8    LAURA LEE  It Ain’t What You Do (But How You Do It)  2:05

      9    SPENCER WIGGINS  I Never Loved A Woman (The Way I Love You)  3:01

    10    ARTHUR CONLEY  Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da  3:00

    11    ARTHUR CONLEY  Stuff You Gotta Watch  2:15

    12    ARTHUR CONLEY  Speak Her Name  2:39

    13    ARTHUR CONLEY  That Can't Be My Baby  2:22

    14    WILLIE WALKER  A Lucky Loser  2:20

    15    THE LOVELLES  I'm Coming Today  2:59

    16    THE LOVELLES  Pretending Dear  2:38

    17    ARETHA FRANKLIN  The Weight  2:53

    18    ARETHA FRANKLIN  It Ain't Fair  3:22

    19    SOUL SURVIVORS  Darkness  2:56

    20    SOUL SURVIVORS  Tell Daddy  2:30

    21    SOUL SURVIVORS  Got Down On Saturday  3:10

    22    KING CURTIS  Hey Joe  2:56

    23    KING CURTIS  Foot Pattin'  4:49

    24    KING CURTIS  Games People Play  2:46

    25    KING CURTIS  The Weight  2:47

    26    THE SWEET INSPIRATIONS  Get A Little Order  2:06

     

    Disc Three

      1    THE BARRY GOLDBERG BLUES BAND  Twice A Man  4:26

      2    DUANE ALLMAN  Goin' Down Slow  8:44

      3    DUANE ALLMAN  No Money Down  3:25

      4    DUANE ALLMAN  Happily Married Man  2:40

      5    OTIS RUSH  Me  2:55

      6    OTIS RUSH  Reap What You Sow  4:53

      7    OTIS RUSH  It Takes Time  3:25

      8    THE DUCK & THE BEAR  Going Up The Country  2:34

      9    THE DUCK & THE BEAR  Hand Jive  2:41

    10    BOZ SCAGGS  Finding Her  4:10

    11    BOZ SCAGGS  Look What I Got  4:13

    12    BOZ SCAGGS  Waiting For A Train  2:41

    13    BOZ SCAGGS  Loan Me A Dime  13:01

    14    THE ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND  Don't Want You No More  2:26

    15    THE ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND  It's Not My Cross To Bear  5:01

    16    THE ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND  Black Hearted Woman  5:07

    17    THE ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND  Trouble No More  3:45

     

    Disc Four

      1    THE ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND  Every Hungry Woman  4:13

      2    THE ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND  Dreams  7:16

      3    THE ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND  Whipping Post  5:16

      4    RONNIE HAWKINS  One More Night  2:22

      5    RONNIE HAWKINS  Will The Circle Be Unbroken  2:50

      6    RONNIE HAWKINS  Matchbox  3:05

      7    RONNIE HAWKINS  Down In The Alley  5:08

      8    RONNIE HAWKINS  Who Do You Love  2:13

      9    LULU  Marley Purt Drive  3:21

    10    LULU  Dirty Old Man  2:20

    11    LULU  Mr. Bojangles  3:08

    12    LULU  Sweep Around Your Own Back Door  2:40

    13    JOHNNY JENKINS  I Walk On Gilded Splinters  5:16

    14    JOHNNY JENKINS  Rollin’ Stone  4:56

    15    JOHNNY JENKINS  Down Along The Cove  3:02

    16    JOHNNY JENKINS  Voodoo In You  4:50

    17    JOHN HAMMOND  Shake For Me  2:42

    18    JOHN HAMMOND  Cryin’ For My Baby  2:39

    19    JOHN HAMMOND  I’m Leavin’ You  3:20

    20    JOHN HAMMOND  You’ll Be Mine  2:42

    21    DORIS DUKE  Ghost Of Myself  3:06

     

    Disc Five

      1    ERIC QUINCY TATE  Comin’ Down (demo version)  2:52

      2    THE ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND  Hoochie Coochie Man (live)  5:00

      3    THE ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND  Midnight Rider  2:58

      4    THE ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND  Dimples (live)  4:59

      5    THE ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND  I'm Gonna Move To The Outskirts Of Town (live)  9:21

      6    DELANEY & BONNIE & FRIENDS  Soul Shake  3:06

      7    LAURA NYRO  Beads Of Sweat  4:47

      8    THE ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND  Don’t Keep Me Wonderin’  3:28

      9    DELANEY & BONNIE & FRIENDS  Living On The Open Road  3:03

    10    ELLA BROWN  A Woman Left Lonely  3:23

    11    ELLA BROWN  Touch Me  2:59

    12    BOBBY LANCE  More Than Enough Rain  5:51

    13    DEREK & THE DOMINOS  I Am Yours  3:34

    14    DEREK & THE DOMINOS  Why Does Love Got To Be So Sad?  4:41

    15    DEREK & THE DOMINOS  Have You Ever Loved A Woman  6:52

    16    DEREK & THE DOMINOS  Layla  7:03

    17    ERIC CLAPTON & DUANE ALLMAN  Mean Old World  3:48

     

    Disc Six

      1    SAM SAMUDIO  Me And Bobby McGee  3:31

      2    SAM SAMUDIO  Relativity  3:14

      3    SAM SAMUDIO  Goin' Upstairs  5:06

      4    RONNIE HAWKINS  Don't Tell Me Your Troubles  2:13

      5    RONNIE HAWKINS  Sick And Tired  2:45

      6    RONNIE HAWKINS  Odessa  3:19

      7    DELANEY & BONNIE & FRIENDS  Gift Of Love  2:09

      8    DELANEY & BONNIE & FRIENDS  Sing My Way Home  4:02

      9    THE ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND  Statesboro Blues (live)  4:17

    10    THE ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND  In Memory Of Elizabeth Reed (live)  13:04

    11    GRATEFUL DEAD  Sugar Magnolia (live)  7:20

    12    THE ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND  One Way Out (live)  4:57

    13    HERBIE MANN  Push Push  10:03

    14    HERBIE MANN  Spirit In The Dark  7:59

    15    HERBIE MANN  What’d I Say  4:57

     

    Disc Seven

    DELANEY & BONNIE & FRIENDS  Come On In My Kitchen (live)  3:42    

      2    DELANEY & BONNIE & FRIENDS  Going Down The Road Feeling Bad (live)  4:03

      3    DELANEY & BONNIE & FRIENDS  Poor Elijah / Tribute To Johnson (Medley) (live)  4:54

      4    THE ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND  You Don't Love Me / Soul Serenade (live)  19:25

      5    COWBOY  Please Be With Me  3:41

      6    THE ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND  Stand Back  3:24

      7    THE ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND  Blue Sky  5:09

      8    THE ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND  Blue Sky (live)  11:24

      9    THE ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND  Dreams (live)  17:56

    10    THE ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND  Little Martha  2:07

     

  • Tedeschi Trucks Band - Knoxville - 2015

    Tedeschi Trucks Band

    January 25, 2015

    Tennessee Theater

    Knoxville, Tennessee

     tedeschi trucks knoxville0001Photo by Randy PattersonUntil now, I’ve never seen the Tedeschi Trucks Band in concert. After seeing them, I feel really, really stupid to have not seen them until now. Their show at the beautiful and historic Tennessee Theater in downtown Knoxville was one for the record books.

    WOW!

    Talk about a band that totally blew me away!  What an amazing husband/wife team surrounded by world class musicians. Tight. Super tight. This band can show other jam bands how to take care of business and get ‘er done.

    Hitting the stage after a tremendous performance by the opening act, The Greyhounds, Tedeschi Trucks brought the enthusiastic, sold out Knoxville crowd to their feet with “Keep On Growing.” From there on, it was a phenomenal slide guitar rock ‘n roll blues-fest.

    Susan’s voice was bang on outstanding as was her guitar playing. Derek’s handling of his SG was jaw-dropping outrageous. I didn’t want any of it to end.  

    Tunes that stole the evening were:

    Made Up Mind: People were dancing in their seats and in the aisles during this song. Derek’s slide solo blazed and scorched, driving the crowd wild.

    All That I Need: Smooth, fluid, I have no idea how long they played that song but they could’ve played it for hours and it wouldn’t have been long enough. This is a song you want to drive on the interstate to, with your player set on endless repeat. 

    Midnight In Harlem: One of my favorite TTB tunes, Susan’s performance of this tune during this show absolutely melted my heart. This song gets into your heart and DNA, to remain forever. When you hear it live, it seals the deal.

     

    If you haven’t ever caught a Tedeschi Trucks Band show, you need to. You’ll absolutely love them and become a fan for life . . . if you’re not already one.

  • Warren Haynes - Knoxville February 2016

    Warren Haynes

    Bijou Theatre – Knoxville, Tennessee

    February 28, 2016

     

    Photo by Randy Patterson

         

    Let me say right from the git go that if you’ve never seen Warren Haynes in concert, you’ve been missing out on a phenomenal musical treat. That was certainly what the sell out crowd at Knoxville’s historic, intimate and beautiful Bijou Theatre experienced last night.

    From his show opener (Bob Dylan’s “All Along the Watchtower”) to the Allman Brothers’ “Jessica” for the encore, Haynes had the exuberant crowd eating out of his legendary nimble fingered hands.

    Admittedly, while I’ve heard lots of Warren’s work over the years, this was my first time seeing the legendary guitarist

         

    Photo by Randy Patterson

    live. I was mesmerized by his precision and fluidity of movement along the neck of the guitar. Speed and range, both, were taken to their limits.  

    As for his Ashes & Dust band (the name taken from his last CD), they were tight and smooth as a well oiled machine. Each and every musician were fascinating to watch them perform their craft to the highest levels of excellence – a compliment to their leader, for sure.

    While much of the set list was from Haynes’ Ashes & Dust CD, he pleased the crowd with tunes from his other body of work, as well. All of which, of course, resonated beautifully in the Bijou.

    Again, if you’ve never caught Warren Haynes live, you need to do so. You’ll never want to miss a show once you do.

Featured Photo

 

 

george lynch

Our Featured Photo by Boomerocity friend and famed rock photographer, Rob Shanahan (robshanahan.com), is of Dokken's George Lynch! Check out more of Rob's work at RobShanahan.com!

 

 

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