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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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Thursday, January 9, 2014

Jimmy Vivino & the Black Italians on "Conan"!
Jimmy Vivino and the Black Italians will appear on the "Conan" television show on Tuesday, January 28th.   They will perform "Maggie's Farm," the Bob Dylan-penned song that appears on their Blind Pig album 13 Live.
Vivino is the Music Director and leader of the house band for Conan O'Brien's show on TBS, Jimmy Vivino and the Basic Cable Band.  The Black Italians were originally formed twenty years ago around a residency at the legendary Downtime Music Bar in New York City.  They soon attracted 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."  Vivino jokingly dubbed the communal group of musicians of various ethnicities "The Black Italians," which he says was really "about being soulful cats."  
Last year he got the band back together for a live recorded concert at Levon Helm's beautiful barn studio in Woodstock NY.  Despite only playing sporadically over the years, and after just one rehearsal, the Black Italians immediately fell into a soulful, joyous groove, delighting the audience with a night of truly inspired music making.

The resulting album, 13 Live, garnered rave reviews from the critics:
"A record that celebrates impulsivity, virtuosity, and unbridled soul. Somewhere between the hottest Chicago jump blues, muscled garage rock, and a jazz-leaning rhumba, lies the sound of Jimmy Vivino's Black Italians - musical dexterity by way of pure, soul-digging inspiration." - Living Blues
"The entire album is chock full of impeccably recorded, juke-joint jumping R&B, soul and blues that'll make you salivate for the bygone era when all music sounded this good." - Elmore
"Vivino and company set fire to the barn's performance stage with their red hot playing. Vivino's voice is sterling throughout and equally matched in intensity and soul by Russell. In the meantime, the band is spot-on from song to song displaying blazing chops and world-class precision. " - Blues Music Magazine

Describing 13 Live just can't come close to capturing the brillance and sparkling beauty of the music. You've simply got to hear it, got to let this stuff into your soul, where it will live forever, and you will be a happier and better person for it." -Rambles
Joining guitarist Vivino for the appearance on "Conan" will be vocalist extraordinaire Catherine Russell and harmonica ace Felix Cabrera, both travelling from New York for the program.  Rounding out the Black Italians lineup that night will be Mike Merritt on bass, James Wormworth on drums, Jeff Young on keyboards, Vicki Randle on percussion, with special guest Leo Nocentelli of The Meters.

To see a video about the project, with samples of some of the wonderful songs, please click HERE.

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