ASPEN — Chuck Leavell — we competence not know a name, though a strain is substantially embedded in your brain. Apart from personification one of a many obvious and joyous piano solos ever — dual and a half mins into a Allman Brothers Band’s 1973 instrumental strike “Jessica” — Leavell has been a pivotal sideman for Eric Clapton, George Harrison and a Black Crowes. And, oh yes, a small blues-rock outfit famous as a Rolling Stones, for whom he has assigned a piano dais for scarcely 3 decades.
Leavell has also been prolific underneath his possess name as well. The ’70s jazz-rock rope Sea Level was his baby (the name Sea Level is a play on “C. Leavell”), and in new year, a Alabama local has published a array of books focused on issues of a forests and sustainability.
Leaving Mick and Keith, Charlie and Ron aside, a 58-year-old Leavell comes to Aspen for a solo gig on Saturday, Mar 12, during 8 p.m. during a Wheeler Opera House. The Aspen Times had a few questions for him.
Aspen Times: You’ve been compared with a Rolling Stones, as their unison and studio keyboardist, for over 25 years. So was there anything in Keith Richards’ discourse “Life” that astounded you?
Chuck Leavell: Not so most surprised. we did learn some things we didn’t know. His early days, for instance — a uncle that speedy him on a guitar. we enjoyed reading about those early tours, and a relations between a bands and artists. Really great, colorful insight. And while we are all wakeful of some of his “habits,” he got utterly striking about it in his book, holding zero back. There is no doubt, my companion Keith has used adult about 15 of his 9 lives!
But we adore that man so much. He has always been friendly and honest with me, and so most fun to play with, to be with. He has a extensive wit and clarity of humor. He only done a cameo coming on my subsequent CD project, a reverence to pioneering blues piano players from a ‘30s/’40s/’50s era. He played on dual marks for me — brilliantly, we competence add.
AT: Like Richards, we double as a writer. But your books, like a new “Growing a Better America,” residence issues of sustainability and forestry. What is your credentials in those fields?
CL: My wife, Rose Lane, hereditary some family land in 1981. Her family has been connected to a land for generations as farmers. we took this severely and started a tour to learn about land use and a environment. After investigate several options, we staid on forestry. we became preoccupied with a subject, and we began to plant and conduct a family forest. Since then, my passion for environmental concerns has blossomed, and in further to a books, we partnered with my friend, Joel Babbit from Atlanta, to start a Mother Nature Network (www.mnn.com). We satisfied there was a need for a clean, extensive website dedicated to all things environmental. We’re now a third-most visited environmental site in a world, with over dual million hits a month from 230 countries and territories.
So many eco-sites are designed for experts and scientists. Our idea was to build a best site for environmental news, information and education, in a approach that truly engages a visitor.
AT: When we were a member of a Allman Brothers Band, we played one of a good piano solos in rock, on “Jessica.” Have we got a favorite Rolling Stones piano/keyboard part, one that we didn’t creatively play?
CL: Through story there have been some good piano players with a Stones: Ian Stewart, Nicky Hopkins, Billy Preston. we adore all those guys’ contributions to a Stones recordings and have complicated them for years. As a matter of fact, there is a new book out on Nicky that we helped minister to. we got to know him good before he upheld away. we adore behaving his tools on “Angie,” “Waiting on a Friend,” “She’s A Rainbow.” Billy’s work on songs like “Shine A Light,” “I Got The Blues” and a like are remarkable. Ian Stewart was most like a vast hermit to me when we assimilated a band. He taught me a lot about boogie-woogie playing. So I’ve schooled (and stolen licks!) from all of them.
AT: You’re operative on an manuscript that pays reverence to blues pianists from a 1930s, ’40s and ’50s. Mostly we hear about blues guitarists from that era. Were there some standout personalities among blues pianists?
CL: Oh, yeah. It’s my wheelhouse. Many of these players are lost names, such as Little Brother Montgomery, Leroy Carr, Jesse James, Charlie Spand. Some are improved known, including a good Otis Spann. we also did a really early Ray Charles song, from a , patrician “Losing Hand.” It has been a fun to transport behind in time and investigate these players, to compensate loyalty to them as best we can. we mentioned progressing that Keith plays on a integrate of tracks. we was also means to get John Mayer on a couple. I’ve been operative with him on his subsequent project.
AT: You’ve worked with distinguished Southern stone bands (Allmans, Black Crowes, Gov’t Mule) and British rockers (Stones, Eric Clapton, George Harrison). Are there any decisive distinctions between a dual camps?
CL: It is engaging to note that a Brits adore Southern music, either we’re articulate blues, country, soul, whatever. we consider in vast partial that’s because I’ve cumulative some of these gigs.
AT: You’ve spent a lot of time onstage as partial of vast stone ‘n’ hurl bands. What’s a knowledge like personification solo piano gigs?
CL: It’s a whole opposite round game. No one to take a vigour off. No one to gaunt on. It’s all adult to you, no excuses. But we acquire a challenge. It keeps me on my toes, motivates me to use to ready for these things. The hardest partial is to relax and suffer a process, not worry about it, though to get into a songs and try and take a assembly with you.
AT: Gotta ask: Clapton or Keith? Or Duane? Or Warren?
CL: … or Harrison? Betts? Beck? Page? Mayer? Geez, my conduct is spinning!