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Published: 2008/10/30

Return of the Black Italians

Shortly after midnight Wednesday morning, the members of The Black Italians reunited for the first time in over a decade at New Yorks S.O.B.‘s. The seminal group features a number of noted musicians now associated with the harder side of the jam-scene: guitarist Jimmy Vivino (The Fab Faux/_Late Night_), keyboardist Danny Louis (Gov’t Mule), bassist Mike Merritt (The Levon Helm Band), percussionist Fred Walcott (James Brown, Albert Collins) and Cuban-born blues harmonica player Felix Cabrera. Sitting in on drums for the entire night was Louis Govt Mule collaborator Matt Abts. According to reports, The Black Italians treated the intimate crowd to over an hour of spontaneous blues, rock, and Latin-flavored numbers, including covers of Buddy Holly’s ‘Not Fade Away’ and The Rascal’s ‘Good Lovin. Rising New York rockers Leroy Justice opened the evenings festivities and also invited Cabrera out to play harmonica on a cover of Sam Cooke’s ‘Bring It On Home To Me.

Abts and Louis will open a tour with Govt Mule at Burlington, VTs Flynn Theatre this evening, while Leroy Justice will perform at New Yorks Bitter End tomorrow. In addition to a set of original material, Leroy Justices midnight Halloween show will include a complete reworking of the Beatles Let it Be. The Black Italians will make its second appearance this Millennium at New Yorks Cutting Room on November 13.

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