Chuck Leavell has been pleasing the ears of music fans for more than 30 years now. His piano and keyboard work has been heard on the works of Eric Clapton, The Rolling Stones, The Black Crowes, George Harrison, The Allman Brothers Band, The Indigo Girls, Blues Traveler, Train, Montgomery-Gentry, Lee Ann Womack and many, many more. In addition to being a well established pianist/artist in the music industry, Leavell is also a published author, tree farmer, and keeps busy with his advocacy work on behalf of the environment.
At the age of 13, Chuck got the opportunity to see Ray Charles in concert. He recalls, "Ray and the band played an incredible show, and it had such an impact on me that I made up my mind there and then that that was what I wanted to do. I decided that night what I wanted as my career." When he was 15, Leavell made his way to Muscle Shoals, AL, and the legendary studios there, where he played on several records, including Freddy North's soul classic Don't Take Her, She's All I've Got.
In 1969 Chuck moved to Macon, GA, where Southern music impresario Phil Walden had recently opened Capricorn Records and studio. There he joined Alex Taylor's (brother of James Taylor) band Friends and Neighbors. He spent the next year and a half with Taylor and appears on his Capricorn album, Dinnertime. After his stint with Taylor, Leavell spent six months on the road with Dr. John, who was managed at the time by Walden. Leavell refers to his time with Dr. John as his "college education", because he spent most of his time watching a master at work.
In 1972, shortly after the death of Duane Allman and prior to the death of Berry Oakley, Leavell was asked to join the Allman Brothers Band. He was barely 20 years old at the time. 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. He went on to record two more albums with them before the Allmans disbanded.
Emerging from the break-up of the Allman Brothers Band, Leavell formed the rock/jazz/blues fusion group Sea Level with ABB drummer Jaimoe Johanson. 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 role for the Stones that continues today.