God bless Chuck Leavell’s piano solo on the Allman Brothers’ “Southbound”

By Steve Newton

As most readers of Ear of Newt have probly figured out by now, I’m something of a guitar freak. I just love the sound of a guitar, especially when it’s in the hands of someone really, really good. (I also spell the word probably as “probly” because that’s how it sounds to me, and I just don’t give a shit anymore.)

But getting back to the guitar thing. My passion for a killer solo has resulted in me writing blogs with titles like God bless Donald “Buck Dharma” Roeser’s guitar solo on Blue Oyster Cult’s “Burnin’ for You” and God bless Steve Cropper’s guitar solo on Rod Stewart’s “Stone Cold Sober”. I was gonna continue the six-string theme and write a post called God bless Michael Schenker’s guitar playing on UFO’s “One More From the Rodeo”, but then I got sidetracked by the sound of a keyboard solo on a tune from the Allman Brothers’ Brothers and Sisters album from the Year of our Lord, 1973.

I’ll admit that at first all I used to focus on in that tune was the piercing lead-guitar work of its composer, one Dickey Betts, who I’ve interviewed four times and can’t get enough of. But then one day I was cruisin’ along in the car with The Road Goes on Forever in the CD player and I couldn’t quite believe how goddamn tasty and absolutely perfect Chuck Leavell’s piano solo was on “Southbound”.

It starts at the 3:06 marks and ends at 3:52, and every single note of that 46-second solo is precisely what I want to hear. I betcha Duane woulda dug it too.


One response to “God bless Chuck Leavell’s piano solo on the Allman Brothers’ “Southbound”

  1. Hey Newt! Although I haven’t met as many musicians as you, probabably 1/2 as many, I still enjoy your posts & interviews! Before I started playing, I was thinking all these musicians were made up bands, like the Monkees or the Archies. After my career in the music business, I got to meet some of these rock Gods & realized they are actual real people playing. Most of them are from a different planet though! I never got to meet Dickie Betts but we have the same build & had the same hair & moustache styles. I worked stage sound for Weird Al, @ the Q.E. Theatre, for a special Disney shoot. Totally over produced! (Think 48 Intellabeams on that stage)! The head of sound toured with the Allman Bros. for 12 years. When I introduced myself to him, as 1 of his sound techs, he did a double take. He thought I was Dickie for a second! This, from an engineer, who toured with him for 12 years!. When I got home, I looked @ an Allman Brothers record & as the guy said, I could have been Dickie’s twin brother! I miss the days of working with all the great bands & your stories bring back lots of memories of back in the day, that are going into my book! It’s coming along, slowly but surely!

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