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Chuck Leavell Holds His Own in Stones Movie

Posted: Apr 17, 2008

The jury has returned the verdict. The Stones have officially beat out The Beatles. When I was a kid back in the ‘60’s, there was an ongoing battle over who were the true kings of rock and roll, The Beatles or the Stones. Now I was always a Beatles fan, but the Beatles broke up when, in 1970? Almost 40 years later, The Rolling Stones are rocking just as hard and heavy as ever, and Shine a Light proves the fact even further.

Marty Scorsese had created a timeless movie, the perfect chronicle of the legendary band, blending almost humorous black and white footage of rehearsals and preparing for the show, with vintage clips of the band from the early sixties and dazzling footage of the 2006 concert at New York’s Beacon Theatre for Bill Clinton’s earth charity Yes, we see brief footage of the Stones meeting Bill and Hilary and Hilary’s Mom Dorothy.

We get a glimpse into rehearsals, where our friend Chuck Leavell is shown in a band leader role, teaching the words and phrasing of a song to the iconic Mick Jagger. The former Allman Brother has been touring with The Stones for many years now, and his keys and vocals really make the mix jump.

There are several real surprises in the set list which make this the single best Stones concert I have heard or seen ever.

The show kicks off with my all time favorite Stones song, “Jumpin; Jack Flash,” and it never lets up- “Shattered,” “She Was Hot,” an amazingly Gram Parsons like “Loving Cup,” featuring Jack White III, “Some Girls,” “Just My Imagination,” and another personal favorite, “Far Away Eyes,” with Ron Wood playing some particularly impressive pedal steel on an Emmons.

Guests keep a coming with none other than Buddy Guy dueting with Mick on the old Muddy Waters tune “Champagne & Reefer.” Buddy and Keith have a blast playing off one another. Speaking of Keith, I just have to go ahead and say it, Keith is the ultimate rock star of all time. They just don’t make ‘em like Keith no more. Chain smoking, grinning his sly grin, with his mussy fur ball hairdo and pirates skull broach on his lapel, Keith told the crowd it was good to see them all. “In fact, it’s good to see anybody,” he laughed.

The final duet featured a red hot Christina Aguilera, dirty dancing with a man old enough to be her grandfather. Only in America. You have got to love it.

And the hits keep on a comin,’ “Sympathy for the Devil,” “Start Me Up,”  “Brown Sugar,” “(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction” - absolutely amazing. With Muscle Shoals legend Bobby Keyes blowing sax, and backed by some excellent backup singers and a full horn section, the Stones blow the roof off of The Beacon in a show dedicated to the memory of Atlantic Records music mogul Ahmet Ertegun, who passed away right after attending this show.

A phenomenal film of a phenomenal concert. Five Stars plus.

-Michael Buffalo Smith

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outlawcountry says...

Chuck rocks. Great movie.

katiedid says...

I read this last night and on your recommendation I went today and it was the best concert movie I have ever seen. I got goose flesh when Buddy Guy and Mich were singing that song together! Thanks for letting me know how good it was!

stellaguitar says...

Chuck can do it all bro. I saw this one last weekend and it blew my fucking mind. One of the hottest shows I have seen lately and in a damn movie house.

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