Among those still somewhat
surprised by Sea Level's unavoidable success is Sea Level's own keyboard genie, Chuck Leavell, probably the best electric pianist in rock.
"We didn't set out to cut a 'hit record.' We play for the sake of playing, because we love to play. We'd be making the kind of music we like anyway. Success is just icing on the cake," he smiled warmly. Leavell's touchstone jazz/soul organ effect ripples through their first single off the album, the crackling "That's Your Secret." Even without a single, Cats on the Coast skied up the list of top twenty rock LPs.
No longer another rising sun on the Southern horizon, Sea Level now shines over the U.S., over yanks and necks, rockers and jazzers, brawlers and players. Sea Level surges to the crest of a New Southern Tide, and the far-ranging, enriched musical scope and variety of Cats on the Coast bring to the fore of rock the stimulating flavors of adventure and agressiveness, once thought near
extinction. These elements, plus the learning experience of Sea Level, their first album, absorbed and focused, are driving the band towards the peak of their profession. While recently touring the East Coast with the Outlaws (fellow Capricorn labelmates), they eased out on their own to headline several concerts. The results can no longer be considered surprising. They coasted to congratulations on the same brash but unassuming jazz-soul-rock currents they hitched a ride for art's sake. Then they blew the house down.
"There is an art to everything, an art to life, and we formed Sea Level to reach that point with our music, which is our life." Leavell laughed, anticipating the challenge of an Allman Brothers reunion, really no challenge at all now that Cats on the Coast has come in. "I know Randall will want to make another solo album sometime. I think 1 would he open to that also--as long as there was Sea Level."
Because Sea Level has reached that point where art is paying off—big.
"We're really together in Sea Level. Everything is totally out front—we're totally into Sea Level. Whatever we do, we'll stay together."
To underscore that commitment, they earlier jumped from a four-piece to seven, recruiting "That's Your Secret" and "Every Little Thing" lead vocals/ saxophonist/keyboardist Randall Bramblett/guitarist Davis Causey, and drummer George Weaver into the original Sea Level: Leavell, bassist Lamar Wilson, guitarist Jimmy Nails, and percussionist Jai Johanny Johanson.
The Significant Seven's 'debut' LP is a hot rivet in the hands of reachers reaching for the building genius in rock. It's