Chuck Leavell Biography

Charles Alfred Leavell, 28 April 1952, Birmingham, Alabama, USA. An in-demand session player, Leavell has played piano and keyboards for some of the most famous artists in rock music. Growing up in the south, he was first influenced by the music being played on the local R&B and gospel radio stations, and in particular by Ray Charles. By the age of 15 he was working with a black vocal group called the Jades, and looking to develop a career in music. Moving to Macon, Georgia, he worked as a session musician for Capricorn Records, and released an album on the Ampex label as part of the group Sundown. After working on the Allman Brothers Band’s 1973 album Brothers And Sisters, Leavell was invited to join the band, and stayed on as their keyboard player until 1976. He then fronted Sea Level, a boogie/jazz-style unit who released seven albums between 1976 and 1981, before striking up a long-term partnership with the Rolling Stones, appearing on every tour and record by the band from 1982 onwards. He has also toured and recorded with Eric Clapton (24 Nights, Unplugged), George Harrison (Live In Japan), Richie Sambora, the Black Crowes, Gov’t Mule, and Iris DeMent. He has also released three solo albums and written extensively on conservation and enviromental protection.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.