When the Rolling Stones wrapped their two-year “A Bigger Bang” tour in the summer of 2007, keyboardist Chuck Leavell decided to remain on the road in Europe and embark on a solo journey, dubbed the “Green Leaves & Blue Notes Tour.” Along with some of Germany’s top studio talents – Christian Diener on bass, Paul Hochstadter on drums, Frank Kuruc on guitar, and Lutz Hafner on saxophone – Leavell offered a spectacular performance for the program “Live Lounge,” one of Germany’s most popular radio shows.
Spanning the course of 97 minutes, Leavell and his new-found friends work their way through 19 tunes, mixing Leavell originals with covers from The Stones, the Allman Brothers Band, Ray Charles, George Harrison, and more. Leavell kicks off the performance with Professor Longhair’s “In the Wee Hours,” quickly showcasing his remarkable talents on the piano, before launching in to the Bobby Troup classic “(Get Your Kicks On) Route 66.”
Many have seen Leavell play “Honky Tonk Women” and “Tumbling Dice” with the Stones, and “Jessica” and “Statesboro Blues”’ with the Allmans, yet far fewer have seen him perform Sea Level classics “Living in a Dream” or “King Grand,” Harrison’s “Here Comes the Sun,” or the cult classic “Compared to What.” Here Leavell shines, bringing the house down with exquisite performances of each. He sounds the most passionate, however, when singing of home, closing the show with the classic “Georgia on My Mind” and his own composition, “Savannah.”
Live in Germany is out now on Evergreen Arts.