Thread: The One Person Who Can Save The ABB After Derek and Warren Leave

RobJohnson - 1/14/2014 at 01:20 AM

That would be Chuck Leavell.

After thinking about the Gregg tribute show at the Fox, I realized that I may have been premature in saying there is no way the band can survive if Warren, Derek and Oteil all leave. One of my biggest concerns was who would be the musical director or bandleader, a role Warren has filled capably for many years. I couldn't see any of the original members doing it, so I was stumped.

I still think it's a tall order, but Chuck Leavell is the one person who...

A) Has already been a member of the ABB
B) Is demonstrably capable of running a top-notch live band, as he has done with the Stones for many years
C) Judging from the Fox show, is on good terms with Gregg and the other original members

Chuck does have a very nice gig with the Stones, but the ABB would certainly be happy to work around his sporadic Stones tours. He knows the music inside and out and could help audition bass players, or guitarists, and make sure that this new rendition of the ABB is worthy of the name.

I think Jack Pearson could have the guitar chair if he wants it, but I'm not sure he would. Then again, if "being in the Allman Brothers" basically means the Beacon, Wanee, and one short tour a year, Jack might be able to handle that.

The resulting band would probably be very much to the liking of fans of the mid-70s Brothers and Sisters lineup. In fact, I would say there are plenty of people on this website and elsewhere who would enjoy such an incarnation of the ABB more than the current Derek/Warren version.

I don't think I would be one of those people. I like my ABB with 2 guitarists and lots of bombastic jams, but that's just me Still, I have to admit that Chuck and Jack are both Allman Brothers already, so their pedigree would be impeccable, and a band with both of them in it would be a very good band.

I'm not sure if any of that will happen, but in the wake of the Fox show that prominently featured both Chuck and Jack, it doesn't seem very far-fetched. It would unquestionably be The Allman Brothers Band, if a very different version of it.

Maybe the road really DOES go on forever.....


Rusty - 1/14/2014 at 01:34 AM

I don't know about "forever" anymore, but I do love your idea of bringing Chuck and Jack into the mix!
Yeah! That could work!


BoytonBrother - 1/14/2014 at 01:52 AM

Chuck or Bruce Katz would make for a great addition. But that bass player is what concerns me. As much as the ABB is known for the guitar solos, what has always made them for me was the freight train rhythm section that makes the venue and hearts shake.


dadof2 - 1/14/2014 at 01:59 AM

Chuck and Jack...you're right Rob it would be more 73-76 Allmans,something I could really get into....

As for bass there a very fine musicians who could fit quite nicely.Also,any top notch bass payer would,no doubt,have little difficulty learning the material and fitting in.Tal Wikenfeld,Porter,Andy Hess,Stoltz,Jorgen Carlson are a few who could move right into place.i see no problem filling the bass spot.

and some of the old timers like Lesh,Cassady or Bruce are fun to think about.


BigDaveOnBass - 1/14/2014 at 02:17 AM

Give Berry D. Oakley a shot at the bass chair.


WarEagleRK - 1/14/2014 at 03:07 AM

I agree with Rob, that would be a way I could see the band successfully moving forward because with Warren you aren't just replacing a guitarist you are replacing the band leader as well.


Fretsman - 1/14/2014 at 03:20 AM

The obvious answer is Mr. Forrest Richard Betts.

I still dream of the united sweetness, even if it's a lost cause?


TheOtherOne - 1/14/2014 at 03:30 AM

If they got Dickey and Chuck back they'd be one bassist away from the Brothers and Sisters lineup.


pops42 - 1/14/2014 at 03:33 AM

I like the idea of Jack & Chuck, but I dont see it happening. Dickey wont be back.


masbama - 1/14/2014 at 03:45 AM

Could not have said it better myself. Exactly what I was thinking. To me chuck is always a brother.


phillybob - 1/14/2014 at 03:45 AM

There will not be that much difference when Derek and Warren leave. For the last few years the band has not done much besides the Beacon. They have not introduced hardly any new music, they will get some good players to play with them to do a Beacon run and a few festivals with a bunch of bands. Your not going to get Chuck and Dickey is not going to return. Can probably get Jimmy, Jack, Junior Mack, Scott from GAF and a host of others to sit in. I'm sure Derek and Warren would even come back for some Beacon fun.


Marley - 1/14/2014 at 03:49 AM

It's not gonna happen. He's a great player and it's always a treat when he sits in, but I doubt he wants back into the ABB circus.


meandean - 1/14/2014 at 03:51 AM

There is no doubt that the band will need a musical director as well as 2 guitarists (and probably a bass player), and Chuck would be the perfect guy if there is any interest on his part. Personally, I think the only way they can justify the current ticket prices would be by bringing Dickey back (which will probably never happen, but I also thought I'd never see Cream or the Meters reunite!). Not sure if Dickey can play consistently well enough to justify charging what they do. ABB fans expect a quality product. I have nothing to back up my prediction, but I have a feeling Devon Allman and Luther Dickinson may be the heirs. Chuck, Dickey, and maybe someone like Lee Roy Parnell would be replacements I'd be interested in seeing at least once. As for the bass chair - no idea at all. Unless THE right guys are plugged in, may only see them once more out of curiousity if they continue.


WarEagleRK - 1/14/2014 at 04:22 AM

Luther might have had enough of playing in other peoples bands after his stint with the Black Crowes.


robslob - 1/14/2014 at 06:51 AM

quote:

There is no doubt that the band will need a musical director as well as 2 guitarists (and probably a bass player), and Chuck would be the perfect guy if there is any interest on his part. Personally, I think the only way they can justify the current ticket prices would be by bringing Dickey back (which will probably never happen, but I also thought I'd never see Cream or the Meters reunite!). Not sure if Dickey can play consistently well enough to justify charging what they do. ABB fans expect a quality product. I have nothing to back up my prediction, but I have a feeling Devon Allman and Luther Dickinson may be the heirs. Chuck, Dickey, and maybe someone like Lee Roy Parnell would be replacements I'd be interested in seeing at least once. As for the bass chair - no idea at all. Unless THE right guys are plugged in, may only see them once more out of curiousity if they continue.


If Dickey has read Gregg's book it is most certain that it will NEVER happen.


BIGV - 1/14/2014 at 10:48 AM

quote:
If they got Dickey and Chuck back they'd be one bassist away from the Brothers and Sisters lineup.


Just in case hell does freeze over, where can you be reached?


RobJohnson - 1/14/2014 at 01:25 PM

I'm not surprised it came up, especially after I mentioned Brothers and Sisters, but I doubt Dickey is in the mix.

Gregg's book would have you believe that if it was up to Gregg, Dickey would have been gone shortly after Duane died. With Warren and Derek leaving, I think we are in "up to Gregg" territory.

I also understand that Chuck may not want the gig. He certainly doesn't need the money, and as Marley put it, he may want to avoid "the whole ABB circus" and relax on the farm in between Stones tours.

I never meant to imply this was going to happen. I'm just saying that for my money, this is the best chance for the ABB to maintain their current high standards of quality as a live band. I was posting on this site that I didn't see any way to replace Derek and Warren without their being a huge drop-off. The Chuck scenario shows that it would be POSSIBLE to do so, even if it would be extremely unlikely.


MichaelWilliams - 1/14/2014 at 01:27 PM

I agree with you, Rob. I don't see Chuck as being outside the realm of possibility. How many times have the Stones toured in the last 30 years? 8? It's not like that gig takes a lot of Chuck's time. But most people probably don't realize that he acts as their defacto band leader, and he could do the same with the Allman Brothers. It probably depends on whether he wants to play more often or to watch trees grow.

And the combination with Jack Pearson at the Fox was pretty stellar. If Gregg is looking to recruit some talent for a new incarnation of the ABB, then it was all on stage last Friday night.

I prefer the two guitar lineup, but what if you had Pearson, Leavell, and Jimmy Hall brought into the band? Then you'd have another top notch singer to give Gregg's voice a rest, you'd have a bandleader like Chuck to orchestrate the entire thing, and you'd have Pearson on guitar. My God, man! That would be a smoking band.


jszfunk - 1/14/2014 at 01:36 PM

Sorry for the ignorance here, but just curious how Chuck is " the leader/musical director"
of the Stones when they tour?


WarEagleRK - 1/14/2014 at 01:42 PM

quote:
Sorry for the ignorance here, but just curious how Chuck is " the leader/musical director"
of the Stones when they tour?


He is the one who selects the setlists, reminds the band members of certain parts of songs they haven't played in awhile and goes through the song arrangements with guests.


manitou - 1/14/2014 at 01:42 PM

Its well documented that chuck chooses all the Stones set lists on tour..


jszfunk - 1/14/2014 at 01:44 PM

Thanks guys..thats what I was kind thinking what he did.

I am going to get more into this thread topic later on today.

[Edited on 1/14/2014 by jszfunk]


MichaelWilliams - 1/14/2014 at 02:02 PM

I heard him on NPR not too long ago talking about his gig with the Stones, and he went in great detail about how he directs pretty much everything on stage and even gives Jagger and Richards their cues when they get lost.

Obviously, that would be a good talent to have if you were working on stage with Gregg Allman.


hotlantatim - 1/14/2014 at 02:30 PM

I've often thought of the "what if" moment where Chuck might have rejoined the band in 1989. I think it was described in Midnight Riders that Chuck was asked to join the reunion tour and he was very interested. The Stones had not toured in years. The original four went to meet about in FL without Chuck and during that time the Stones called about the Steel Wheels tour and Chuck committed since nothing was guaranteed on the ABB end...and, well, it was the Stones.

I was very impressed with what the Brothers did after 1989, but I would have loved having Chuck on board for that too. It has been super cool to have Chuck sit-in with the band so many times since 2001 and to have him be such a big part of the Gregg Tribute.


hotlantatim - 1/14/2014 at 02:47 PM

Oh, yeah, this also reminds me of that picture of the band in 1982 that includes Chuck (and no Lawler). There are a couple and one is of them sitting under a big tree in FL. I guess they considered continuing on shortly after that Saturday Night Live performance and brought Chuck into play with them for rehearsals. Nothing came of it, and then the first 1980s Gregg Allman Band and BHLT went out on the road separately.

I know Chuck did return for the pair of 1986 concerts along with Gregg, Butch, Jaimoe, Dickey and Dan. His next performances with the ABB were the Joe Dan Petty services in early 2000 and then four Beacon shows in 2001, which began a string of sit-ins over the next decade.


jonbrach - 1/14/2014 at 02:49 PM

eric clapton and jeff beck will man the guitar spots


sully - 1/14/2014 at 04:00 PM

i would go see and be very excited for a chuck and jack lineup. it would bring the 'happy' back to the setlist and tone of the music. i LOVE the current lineup, but the way they play is aggressive. it would be a nice mix up to get different type of style in there.


Jonesy - 1/14/2014 at 04:30 PM

Jack Pearson is one phenomenal player and in many ways my favorite "other guitarist" to Dickey Betts but for Duane. Yes even moreso than Warren and Derek and Danny.

Him coming on board with Chuck would take this band on a different path and i think it would keep the fan base interested if nothing else. I know we're all just talking ideas here but this is one i would love to see happen. The ABB ace in the hole here is the limited amount of shows they would play which can allow for the space Jack and Chuck would certainly need.

I wish Jack played around the country. he is such a talent


dadof2 - 1/14/2014 at 04:48 PM

quote:
i would go see and be very excited for a chuck and jack lineup. it would bring the 'happy' back to the setlist and tone of the music. i LOVE the current lineup, but the way they play is aggressive. it would be a nice mix up to get different type of style in there.


Perfectly stated.And to repeat,Jack and Chuck would be tremendous.

I'm not sure if Rob & Alan will see this,but aggressive is a more apt description than bombastic.Not that other eras of the band were not ferocious in their approach,but those other eras maintained that swing...the swing is what always tied the ABB style of blues,jazz,country and R&R together.The current band,while excellent,lacks swing.Perhaps all the covers knocked the swing outta them.Also,IMO in the current lineup the drummers are a wall of sound,a bit lacking in the nuances of other eras.And,Oteil,while never my favorite bass player,seemed to adapt his own style to the sound after 06 and that too resulted in less swing.

I realize many may differ but that's the spice of life,different opinions!


Shavian - 1/14/2014 at 06:10 PM

Good point, but I think the turning point was the loss of Dickey's Western Swing influences.



BillyBlastoff - 1/14/2014 at 06:42 PM

I don't see the motivation for Chuck. From what I've read he leads the life of a landed Southern Gentleman. If the muse moves him to make music he has The Rolling Stones and other outlets like the upcoming Atlanta Symphony gig.

I'll be surprised if he is even interested.

Of course it is a part time gig.


BIGV - 1/14/2014 at 06:45 PM

I think Chuck views the ABB as an old relationship that he has outgrown. He might find it mildly entertaining and a "Fun memory to revisit" from time to time, but I seriously doubt he would ever go back. I also think he is light years ahead of what the brothers do musically; he won't return for the same reasons Derek and Warren have chosen to leave. To him, it's become stale and the creative process is all but dead. Simply put, this music, although fun to play for awhile does not challenge him on a daily basis. Some of you might be tempted to reply.."Like the Stones music does"?....The Rolling Stones are still writing, still putting out new stuff and the depth of their catalog far exceeds that of the ABB. The Stones were genuine "Hit-makers"...Imho.... a much more musically demanding gig, that probably pays substantially better as well...


PauliG - 1/14/2014 at 07:13 PM

quote:
That would be Chuck Leavell.

I still think it's a tall order, but Chuck Leavell is the one person who...

A) Has already been a member of the ABB
B) Is demonstrably capable of running a top-notch live band, as he has done with the Stones for many years
C) Judging from the Fox show, is on good terms with Gregg and the other original members

I think Jack Pearson could have the guitar chair if he wants it, but I'm not sure he would. Then again, if "being in the Allman Brothers" basically means the Beacon, Wanee, and one short tour a year, Jack might be able to handle that.


Maybe the road really DOES go on forever.....


Chuck and Jack would be my dream replacements...

But I could never see Chuck coming back to the fold and I doubt Jack will too. Unfortunately.


ffisher - 1/14/2014 at 07:42 PM

Agree with Rob. Chuck and Jack would be the ideal lineup without Warren and Derek. I would just be grateful for the Brothers to keep on keeping on.


slakfish - 1/14/2014 at 07:49 PM

Well, i haven't lurked in these parts in a long time...i came looking for info on the 4CD B&S set and found a mess of news.

Anyway, i love the idea of Chuck and Jack. Overall i'm a 2 guitar fan, but since that's been the status quo for so long lets go back to piano.

Someone else mentioned Bruce Katz as an option, but also lets add a horn player and along with a nice guitar lets explore the more jazzy side for a few years. We've had the aggressive blues thing for years.

Addendum: Hey, why not bring Todd Smallie on board since DTB is no more.

[Edited on 1/14/2014 by slakfish]


Marley - 1/14/2014 at 07:53 PM

quote:
The Rolling Stones are still writing, still putting out new stuff

Uh, no. They've been much more prolific than the Allmans over their careers, yes, but their last album came out in 2005, and they've put out four albums since 1989. Chuck may very well prefer the gig because it pays better and is less work since they only tour every few years, which suits his other commitments, but let's not make it sound like the Stones are still a vital creative force. They're not, and they don't pretend otherwise.


BNAKED - 1/15/2014 at 12:45 AM

I would see them with Chuck and Jack, for sure. They could mabe help get some new material going with Gregg


Fretsman - 1/15/2014 at 01:54 AM

I just saw this Jack clip elsewhere, I figured I'd post...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D5Ot5TeGOlI&feature=youtube_gdata_playe r


RobJohnson - 1/15/2014 at 03:23 AM

"the Stones were genuine "Hit-makers"

Agreed.

"a much more musically demanding gig,"

Than the ABB? Vehemently disagree. You mention the depth of the Stones catalog, but the ABB have played more different songs in concert over the past decade than the Rolling Stones, and their music is far simpler overall.

Even if Mick and Keith cough up a few new tunes every now and then, it's like not they will contain anything remotely challenging to a musician of Chuck's caliber. At least, not in the way playing a song like Elizabeth Reed with Jack Pearson would be.

Then again, the ABB aren't playing for 100,000 people and the money is probably missing a few zeroes too. So there's that.

If anything, the one reason Chuck might take the gig is to scratch a whole different itch than he does when playing with the Stones.


Slimzimm - 1/15/2014 at 03:36 AM

quote:
I just saw this Jack clip elsewhere, I figured I'd post...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D5Ot5TeGOlI&feature=youtube_gdata_playe r



Thanks for sharing, nice short clip that speaks volumes about what guitar playing and the gift of music brings to him..sort of reminds me of something Duane would say
.
Jack:

"Players and can be so giving to one another, share things, that's what I like about music. I can touch people soul, stir up feelings"


In regards to the thread title, I don't know what 2015 holds for the ABB band but I'd like to see Jackie P cover Derek's slide chops, but I don't know off hand of a 2nd solid guitar player that could make up for Warren's incredible vocal capabilities. Need another guitar player that can vocal share duties with Gregg at this stage.

Chuck Leavell was/is amazing with the ABB but I like the original ABB setup with 2 guitar players for the distinctive dual guitar leads....i.e. Revival, etc.. that defined them.

just my personal ABB preference and 2-cents


BillyBlastoff - 1/15/2014 at 07:16 AM

quote:
If anything, the one reason Chuck might take the gig is to scratch a whole different itch than he does when playing with the Stones.


I just don't think he is that itchy. Occasionally? Maybe. I'm sure the life of a country gentleman includes run ins with chiggers and ticks.


BoytonBrother - 1/15/2014 at 03:31 PM

The absence of a statement by the band sounds more and more like they might be trying to figure out a way to keep this train rolling. I bet they've been on the horn with some candidates trying to put something together. If that's the case, and Chuck is unlikely, then I'd be thrilled for Jack and Bruce Katz to get the call. Throw in a sick bassist and game on fellas!!!!


Lee - 1/15/2014 at 04:06 PM

quote:
Throw in a sick bassist and game on fellas!!!!



In all of the incessant threads about this, there is a name that I haven't seen: Greg Rzab.

Some of you may recall that after Woody's passing, he was a candidate for the job in Mule and toured with them with along with a few different guys including Dave Schools from Panic. As we know, Andy Hess (formerly with The Crowes) got the gig. And Rzab really wanted it. I don't know Rzab's career history, but in the early 90s he was Buddy Guy's bassist and the guy can play!

He has sat in with the ABB before and I think while not a huge name, should get consideration. Heck, Oteil wasn't much of a name outside of a general geographic region when he got the ABB gig so who knows?


Marley - 1/15/2014 at 04:25 PM

quote:
The absence of a statement by the band sounds more and more like they might be trying to figure out a way to keep this train rolling.

I wouldn't assume things are that organized, and they've never made communicating with their fans a priority. They may not know what they'll do and at this point I'm not sure there's even anything to make a statement about. It would have made sense for the band to announce something jointly with Derek and Warren, but what is there to say now?


ffisher - 1/15/2014 at 07:03 PM

Speaking of Chuck, does anyone have a good show from the Chuck/Lamar era with High Falls?


BIGV - 1/15/2014 at 08:43 PM

quote:
The absence of a statement by the band sounds more and more like they might be trying to figure out a way to keep this train rolling.


I'll wager it is because the "Leader" of the band can't walk up to the mic and explain exactly why, or better yet, will not.


masbama - 1/16/2014 at 02:20 AM

quote:
Speaking of Chuck, does anyone have a good show from the Chuck/Lamar era with High Falls?


I've been looking for the same thing. And the ABB version of Long Time Gone too!


DOVETAIL - 1/16/2014 at 03:07 PM

Suggestion of Leavell and Pearson makes sense practically and stylistically and with the Stones doing some shows this year, the timing may be right to make those arrangments with the two. Arguable the chemistry would be up to the level of Derk & Warren but no question that lineup would never decend to the level of a tribute band or otherwise caricaturing the sound of ABB.


The_Newt - 1/16/2014 at 10:47 PM

I'd love to see Dickey Betts and Chuck Levall, or Chuck and Jack Pearson rejoin the band but I don't see any of that happening. If this is the end, thanks for the music.


leafsfan - 1/16/2014 at 11:53 PM


This thread come from : Hittin' The Web with the Allman Brothers Band
http://www.allmanbrothersband.com/

Url of this website:
http://www.allmanbrothersband.com//modules.php?op=modload&name=XForum&file=viewthread&fid=126&tid=132797