Sea Level ¤¤ Cats On The Coast (1977)

Sea Level — Cats On The Coast 
Location: Macon, Georgia, USA
Album release: 1977
Record Label: Capricorn Records
Duration:      37:36
01. That's Your Secret (Randall Bramblett/Davis Causey) - 5:17
02. It Hurts To Want It So Bad (Charles Feldman/Tim Smith/Steve Smith) - 3:39
03. Storm Warning (Chuck Leavell) - 5:27
04. Had To Fall (Randall Bramblett/Jimmy Nalls/Lamar Williams) - 4:13
05. Midnight Pass (Neil Larsen) - 6:39
06. Every Little Thing (Randall Bramblett) - 4:50
07. Cats On The Coast (Davis Causey) - 5:44
08. Song For Amy (Chuck Leavell) - 1:47
Randall Bramblett - saxophones, keyboards (organ), lead vocals
Chuck Leavell - keyboards (piano, Moog synthesizer, organ, clavinet), vocals
Jimmy Nalls - guitar
Davis Causey - guitar
Lamar Williams - bass, vocals
Jai Johanny Johanson - drums
George Weaver - percussion
Stewart Levine - producer
¶  Cats On The Coast was the second album by American rock band Sea Level. It was released in 1977 on Capricorn Records.
Review   by Alex Henderson
¶  Because Sea Level boasted three musicians who had played with the Allman Brothers (keyboardist/vocalist Chuck Leavell, percussionist Jai Johanny Johanson, and the late bassist Lamar Williams), some Allman aficionados expected it to be an exact replica of that band. But Sea Level had an energy and a sound of its own; it was an Allman Brothers spinoff, but hardly an exact replica. The material on Sea Level's self-titled debut album of 1977 fell into two main categories -- vocal-oriented Southern pop/rock and instrumental jazz fusion -- and the same goes for its second album, Cats on the Coast. This sophomore effort falls short of the excellence of Sea Level, but it's generally decent. The vocal offerings (which include "That's Your Secret" and "Had to Fall") are pleasant, and fusion instrumentals like "Storm Warning," "Song for Amy," and "Midnight Pass" should appeal to anyone who spent a lot of time listening to Return to Forever, Larry Coryell, or John McLaughlin in the 1970s. Is Cats on the Coast essential? No. But this album, which has been reissued on CD, is enjoyable if you're among Sea Level's hardcore fans.
David Alexander  Photography
Joe Barnes  Arranger
Randall Bramblett  Composer, Keyboards, Piano, Saxophone, Vocals
Harrison Calloway  Trumpet
Davis Causey  Composer, Guitar, Guitar (Electric)
Richard Dickles  Strings
Ronnie Eades  Horn, Sax (Baritone)
Jesse Ehrlich  Strings
Stan Evenson  Design
Charlie Feldman  Composer
Dennis Good  Horn, Trombone
Jaimoe Johnson  Congas, Drums
Marie Kaylan  Art Direction
William Kurash  Strings
Neil Larsen  Composer
Chuck Leavell  Composer, Keyboards, Organ, Percussion, Vocal Harmony, Vocals
Stewart Levine  Producer
Fred Meyer  Digital Remastering
Muscle Shoals Horns  Horn
Jim Nalls  Composer, Guitar, Guitar (Electric)
Rik Pekkonen  Associate Producer, Engineer
David Pinkston  Assistant Engineer
Sea Level  Primary Artist
Sid Sharp  Strings
Steve Smith  Composer
Steve Smith  Composer
Tim Smith  Composer
Tim Smith  Composer
Harvey Thompson  Saxophone
George Weaver  Drums, Percussion
Lamar Williams  Bass, Bass (Electric), Composer, Guitar (Bass), Vocals
¶  This 1978 was Sea Level’s second of what would be, five studio albums. They were part of the Capricorn Records family. So many of those great southern bands were from that 70s era.  They were from Macon, Georgia.
¶  Speaking of Macon, Georgia, Sea Level was kind of an Allman Brothers spin off, but not really. They were a little a little more ‘jazzy fusiony’ than the brothers. They would often play “Statesboro Blues” in their live shows.
¶  Three of the band members did play with the Allman Brothers at one time or another.
¶  Main founding member, Chuck Leavell was on keyboards. Jai Johanny “Jaimoe” Johanson, drums. Lamar Williams, bass and Jimmy Nalls, guitar.
¶  It was produced by Stewart Levine. Stewart also worked with acts such as Sly Stone, Minnie Ripperton, Joe Cocker, Aaron Neville and even Killing Joke.
“That’s You Secret” was the most popular song here and probably, the most popular song of the band’s career.
¶  Lamar Williams died of Agent Orange related cancer in 1983. Chuck Leavell has toured with the Rolling Stones for years. His newest project is playing in a band called Watson’s Riddle.  They just recently released their first album on Palmetto Records. He’s also recently released his first book. It’s entitled Growing a Better America. You can read about both of those projects via the Chuck Leavell Website which I’ve linked below.
¶  – Larry Carta
Track listing:
Side one:
1.“That’s Your Secret” (Randall Bramblett, Davis Causey) – 5:15
2.“It Hurts To Want It So Bad” (Charles Feldman, Tim Smith, Steve Smith) – 3:38
3.“Storm Warning” (Chuck Leavell) – 5:23
4.“Had To Fall” (Randall Bramblett, Jimmy Nalls, Lamar Williams) – 4:35
Side two:
1.“Midnight Pass” (Neil Larson) – 6:30
2.“Every Little Thing” (Randall Bramblett) – 4:40
3.“Cats On The Coast” (Davis Causey) – 5:38
4.“Song For Amy” (Chuck Leavell) – 1:40
■ Randall Bramblett – organ, alto and soprano sax. vocals, percussion
■ Davis Causey – guitar, background vocals
■ Jai Johanny Johanson – congas
■ Chuck Leavell – piano, organ, electric piano, Arp Odyssey, clavinet, percussion, vocals
■ Jimmy Nalls – guitar, background vocals
■ George Weaver – drums
■ Lamar Williams – bass
■ ‘That’s Your Secret’ peaked at #50 on the Billboard US Singles Chart.
■ ‘Cats on the Coast’ peaked at #31 on the Billboard Top 200 Album Chart.
Official Chuck Level Website
Official Jimmy Nalls Website

 © Chuck Leavell. Taken at the Pinecrest Country Club, Shelton, CT. / Author: Carl Lender              Randall Bramlett:
¶ Born and raised in southeastern Georgia town - Jesup, Bramblett studied religion and psychology at the University of North Carolina, with the objective of entering the seminary. However, finding inspiration in the music of James Taylor, Carole King, and Bob Dylan, he abandoned his theological studies and pursued songwriting, soon moving to Athens, Georgia.
¶ After establishing himself as a session musician in the early 1970s, recording with Gregg Allman, Elvin Bishop, and others, Bramblett released two solo albums in the mid '70s. He put his solo career on hold, however, touring with bands such as Sea Level in the late '70s, and later with Traffic. ¶ In 1998, he resumed his solo recording career after 22 years, and has since released six albums. Website: © © Chuck Leavell at Charlane Plantation, his tree farm in Bullard, Ga; March 2009 / Author:  Fernando Decillis                                               

Chuck Leavell:
Birth name: Charles Alfred Leavell
Born: April 28, 1952, Birmingham, Alabama United States
Notable instruments: Hohner Clavinet
¶ In 1969, Hornsby moved to Macon, Georgia. to work for Capricorn Records as a studio musician and producer, eventually producing such artists as The Charlie Daniels Band, The Marshall Tucker Band, Wet Willie and others. At Hornsby’s suggestion, Leavell came to Macon and helped form Sundown, which recorded one record on the Ampex label in 1970. That band broke up shortly thereafter, and Leavell found himself doing some session work at Capricorn and eventually was tapped to tour with Alex Taylor, James Taylor’s elder brother. Leavell recorded one record with Taylor, Dinnertime, which was released in 1972. Leavell continued to tour with Taylor for a short time afterwards. When Taylor had a falling out with his manager and the founder of Capricorn, Phil Walden and quit touring, Leavell found himself playing with Dr. John. Leavell claims this was his “college education”.
¶ Leavell married Rose Lane White, who was working as a staff member at Capricorn Records. The Allmans toured heavily behind Brother and Sisters, playing stadiums and breaking records for attendance in many venues across the country. Leavell also appeared on a live record with the band, Wipe the Windows, Check the Oil, Dollar Gas during this era as well as subsequent compilations, live performances and re-releases in later years. During the mid 70’s Leavell also appeared on Richard (Dickey) Betts's first solo record, Highway Call. In addition during this time, he made multiple contributions on several other Capricorn artists’ recordings like Bobby Whitlock, Bonnie Bramlett, The Marshall Tucker Band, Cowboy and more as well as recordings outside the Capricorn family with Tim Weisberg, Charlie Daniels and others. The Allmans found themselves in turmoil in 1976, and broke up that year. Later the band re-formed, but without Leavell as he had moved on to form his own band, Sea Level in late 1976.
¶ While opening shows for The Allman Brothers Band with The Allman Brothers' bass guitarist Lamar Williams and drummer Jaimoe, Leavell stepped up as a frontman for the first time in his career. After The Allman Brothers Band disbanding in May 1976, the trio added guitarist Jimmy Nalls and set about touring behind the moniker Sea Level, derived from Leavell's first initial and last name. The group lasted five years and released as many albums, each featuring a different configuration of the group.
¶ Within a matter of months after the breakup of Sea Level, he was called to audition for The Rolling Stones and landed the position of keyboardist alongside Ian Stewart for the band's 1982 European Tour. Leavell continued to record with the Stones on their next two albums, during a time when the band was not touring. After Stewart's untimely and unexpected death in 1985, Leavell occupied the role of the group's keyboardist by himself, wit the exception of the addition of Matt Clifford on the Steel Wheels record and tour. He has continued to tour and record with The Rolling Stones ever since, as well as recording with Mick Jagger and Keith Richards on solo projects. The Stones’ most recent studio recording was in 2005, A Bigger Bang. He continued to go on tour with The Rolling Stones, as of 2006, as part of their record-grossing A Bigger Bang Tour.  He served as the unofficial "musical director" for the band and devised each night's set list with Mick Jagger.  "It's my job to keep Mick, Keith, Charlie and Ronnie all happy", Leavell says on his web page.
¶ In addition to his work with The Rolling Stones, Leavell has worked with George Harrison, Eric Clapton, Gov't Mule, Train, Tinsley Ellis, The Black Crowes, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Montgomery Gentry, John Mayer, Miranda Lambert amongst many others in the studio and on the road in addition to recording five solo albums.
¶ In 2003, Leavell participated in the annual improvisional musical experiment known as Zambiland Orchestra in Atlanta.
¶ Leavell was inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame in 2004. He is also a member of the Alabama Music Hall of Fame. In an April 2007 radio interview on WOR-AM, Leavell said his three favorite contributions to songs in his career were "Jessica" with The Allman Brothers Band, "Old Love" on Eric Clapton's Unplugged, Out of Tears on The Rolling Stones' Voodoo Lounge, and Drops of Jupiter by Train. Website: 

Discography with:

The Rolling Stones: