Jimmy Vivino & The Black Italians to Record at Levon Helm’s Studio
The Black Italians’ 2008 reunion. Photo by Dr. Zoet via Vivino’s homepage
Jimmy Vivino will reunite his R & B-influenced band The Black Italians for two shows at Levon Helm’s Woodstock, NY studio/barn. In addition to Vivino on guitar, this incarnation of The Black Italians features Mike Merritt (bass), James Wormworth (drums), Felix Cabrera (harp/vocals), Gov’t Mule’s Danny Louis (keys), Catherine Russell (vocals), Fred Walcott (percussion) and Mike Jacobson (percussion).
The band originally formed 20 years ago around a weekly residency in the Justin Brothers’ legendary Downtime Music Bar on W.30th St. in New York City. At the time, Merritt and Wormworth were already a functioning rhythm section for Blues Legends Johnnie Johnson, Johnny “Clyde” Copeland and Hubert Sumlin, among others. The group has only made a few select appearances in recent years (including a notable gig at New York’s Cutting Room in 2008). While at Helm’s barn, The Black Italians will host a public rehearsal on Friday, November 30 and record a live album on Saturday, December 1. The Black Italians’ Friday show is described as an interactive rehearsal.
Tickets are available for both performances. Two different ticket prices each night, with a premium ticket being offered for a real behind-the-scenes look, early entrance to the studio
and a meet and greet with the players after the show.
In addition to his work with The Fab Faux and Conan, Vivino was an early member of Helm’s Midnight Ramble Band.