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The Greatest Keyboard Players of The Southern Rock Era

by Michael Buffalo Smith

1. Chuck Leavell 
    Take one look at the Georgia boy’s resume. Besides being a former member of The Allman Brothers Band, Chuck remains a touring member and musical director for The Rolling Stones, plus he has recorded and performed with everyone from Gov’t Mule to Marshall Tucker to The Black Crowes. AT HIS BEST: “Jessica” The Allman Brothers Band,

2. Gregg Allman
   The master of the B-3, Gregg has a way of channeling his very soul into the keys. AT HIS BEST: Live at The Fillmore LP; Laid Back LP.

3. Billy Powell
   The classically trained Powell can play Beethoven and Fats Domino riffs with equal fervor. The story of his move from Lynyrd Skynyrd roadie to key player is the stuff of legend. AT HIS BEST: “Free Bird” (Live); Street Survivors LP.

4. John Galvin
   Another versatile keyboard man, Molly Hatchet kicked their sound up several notches when they added John. AT HIS BEST: Double Trouble Live LP

5. Edgar Winter
   Texan Edgar Winter is certainly a man of many talents who covers many genres. While he is not normally considered a Southern Rocker, he is a Southerner who rocks as well as he plays jazz, blues or gospel. AT HIS BEST: The Roadwork LP by Edgar Winter’s White Trash; They Only Come Out at Night LP, The Edgar Winter Group.

6. Bobby Whitlock
    From his work with Delaney and Bonnie and Friends, to the seminal Derek & The Dominos LP Layla and Other Love Songs and his four Capricorn solo albums, Whitlock never ceases to amaze as a multi-instrumentalist and singer songwriter. AT HIS BEST: Layla and Other Love Songs; Rock Your Socks Off (Capricorn),

7. Taz DiGregorio
   After nearly 40 years as sideman to Charlie Daniels, Taz is still ripping up the keys like nobody’s business. A true legend of Southern Rock. AT HIS BEST: The Fire On The Mountain LP; any Volunteer Jam LP.

8. Al Kooper
   Kooper is a legendary producer, if for no other reason than his work with Lynyrd Skynyrd, but he is also a top notch keyboard man. AT HIS BEST: Pronounced by Lynyrd Skynyrd; Super Session with Mike Bloomfield and Stephen Stills.

9. Paul Hornsby
   Another fine record producer and engineer, Paul was a member of the pre-Allmans band Hour Glass, and played keys on many sessions, including The Marshall Tucker Band. AT HIS BEST: The Marshall Tucker Band (debut); Live at Second Street Music Hall by Capricorn Rhythm Section

10. Eddie Stone
   Doc Holliday’s own keyboard whiz kid, Eddie is another great guitarist, singer and songwriter who can wail on a B-3. AT HIS BEST: Doc Holliday Rides Again; Doc Holliday (first LP).

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