Chris O’Leary began attending Marist College a fter serving with the marines as a combat veteran during the first Gulf War. To his father’s dismay a fter only a short time as a student, O’Leary quit school to pursue a career in music. His father was “not happy until the day that he came to the studio when Levon showed up." O'Leary says, " Once Levon was in the picture, all sins were forgiven.”

O’Leary c redits Levon Helm for opening his mind to different styles of music.   “When I met Levon , I was like this . I was tunnel visioned —24/7 Muddy , Walter, Wolf, Sonny Boy , Junior Wells, Buddy Guy. That’s all I listened to. ” I n 1997 O’Leary moved to New Orleans and played in the house band with Helm at his club on Decatur Street. “That was the turning point. ” O’Leary says, “I owe that man everything.”

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