Many people know Jimmy Vivino as the bandleader on Conan O’Brien’s TBS talk show, but he’s also an accomplished blues guitarist and a friend to the late, great Levon Helm. As a member of the Levon Helm Band and participant in Levon’s Midnight Rambles for years, Vivino was among Levon’s most trusted collaborators. This feeling of respect, admiration and love comes through on Jimmy’s new live album, 13 Live, on which he plays a new, moving tribute song to his friend.
“Song For Levon,” a song written by Jimmy for his performance at Levon’s barn in Woodstock, differs from the rest of the rousing blues numbers on 13 Live. With just Vivino on piano and former Levon Helm Band member Byron Isaacs on guitar, the song is a heartfelt remembrance of an old friend. Despite the sad nature of the song, Jimmy performs it with some of the bouncy spirit that was often attributed to Levon.
13 Live is available now. Watch Jimmy’s performance of “Song For Levon” below: