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I started a quest to find terrific blues music and incredible musicianship when I was just a little kid. I also have a tremendous appreciation of fine musical instruments and equipment. One of my greatest joys all of my life was sharing my finds with my friends. I'm now publishing my journey. I hope that you come along!

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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Jimmy Vivino, Little Walter Tribute releases May 7th
Jimmy Vivino, Little Walter Tribute Albums Set To Drop May 7th
On Tuesday, May 7, 2013 celebrated American roots music label Blind Pig Records will release new titles from well known guitarist and band leader Jimmy Vivino and a loving tribute to Little Walter from five of the best blues harmonica players around,

Jimmy Vivino, Music Director and leader of the house band for Conan O'Brien's TV show on TBS, got the band back together for a memorable two night concert recording session.  The occasion was the reunion of his fabled New York City "Black Italians" band   at Levon Helm Studios in Woodstock, NY to record 13 Live.
On November 30, 2012, the reunited Black Italians hosted a public rehearsal followed by a live recorded concert the next night at Levon Helm's beautiful barn studio. The group had performed together only sporadically in the last several years, but one would never have guessed that once the lights came on and they hit the stage. Interspersing Jimmy's original songs with covers of tunes by the likes of Bob Dylan, James Brown, Traffic and Johnny Winter, the Black Italians immediately fell into a soulful, joyous groove, enlivening the audience. A night of truly inspired music making was capped off by "Song For Levon," written by Jimmy for the occasion, and a rousing version of The Band's "Shape I'm In."
The Black Italians were originally formed twenty years ago around a residency at the legendary Downtime Music Bar on W. 30th Street in New York City. The group, which had been serving as the band for the legendary pianist Johnnie Johnson, started attracting local and national touring musicians to their shows eager to participate in impromptu jams of what Vivino describes as "Third World blues with New Orleans swagger." He jokingly dubbed the communal group of musicians of various ethnicities "The Black Italians," which he says was really "about being soulful cats." The aggregation lasted about two years, until Vivino became too busy with his television gig.

To watch Jimmy performing with the Allman Brothers at the Beacon Theater in New York City on St. Patrick's Day, please click HERE.

Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Little Walter Jacobs receives a fitting tribute on this sparkling live recording which brings together five of the greatest harmonica players currently on the blues scene - Charlie Musselwhite, Billy Boy Arnold, Mark Hummel, James Harman, and Sugar Ray Norcia.  The virtuosic Little Walter is without doubt one of the most influential blues harmonica players of all time. 
All five of these fine players share a deep love for and keen insight into the revolutionary force that Walter's music brought to bear on the Chicago blues scene of the 50's and 60's.  In fact, two of the participants, Charlie Musselwhite and Billy Boy Arnold, actually knew and played with Little Walter.

Charlie recalls that Walter "started phrasing on harmonica like a saxophone. This phrasing combined with his creativity and amplification really took harmonica playing to a whole new level that hadn't been heard before." Arnold adds, "He was miles ahead of all the other harp players on the scene. No one could touch him. He was creative, innovative, and spontaneous. Little Walter is still the top and most influential harp player that ever played."
Musselwhite and Arnold are joined here by three other harpists, each renowned in his own right. Producer Mark Hummel has toured and recorded with Lowell Fulson, Eddie Taylor, Charles Brown, Brownie McGhee, Jimmy Rogers and many other blues legends. James Harman has been a mainstay on the scene for forty years, having played with everyone from Canned Heat to ZZ Top. Sugar Ray Norcia is best known for his lengthy tenure with the acclaimed Roomful of Blues and with the Bluetones - a band he started thirty years ago with guitarist Ronnie Earl.
On Remembering Little Walter each artist performs two tracks from Jacobs' discography, then they collaborate on a spirited, jamming finale of Walter's signature tune, "My Babe." Backing throughout is crisp and solid, featuring Little Charlie Baty, world renowned guitar slinger and former bandleader of Little Charlie and the Nightcats. This one of a kind live harp showcase is a recording no blues fan will want to miss.

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