Monday, May 29, 2017
Former Fellow Allman Brothers Keyboardist Chuck Leavell Praises His Departed 'Inspiration' Brother
Gregg Allman was not only a friend and brother, but he was a strong inspiration to me very early on in my career.
I used to go see the Allman Joys at the Fort Brandon Armory in Tuscaloosa, Alabama when I was a young aspiring musician of 13 and 14 years old. He mesmerized me with his talent…that incredible voice, his understated yet strong stage presence. As he developed as an artist and songwriter, I continued to follow his career…and when the Allman Brothers Band was formed, I thought…”Now they have figured it out…” That first record was ground-breaking and a new style of music, Southern Rock, was born.
Little did I think at the time that I would be so fortunate to eventually be a part of it. I was just a fan and admirer of what he, Duane and the rest of the band had done. Opening up for the ABB in 1970 and ‘71 when I was with Alex Taylor and later with Dr. John, I would hang around after our performance and listen to them. Sometimes, when the piano I used on our set was pulled back to the back part of the stage, I would sit there at it and play along with what the ABB was doing. It was just for my own enjoyment and to try and learn…but it gave me a chance to get a feel for the incredible music they were producing.
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