From Celia Peterson, (Levis' partner): "My experience with Levi includes some of the most joyful years of my life. He was in his happiest place on stage, playing. Whether it be at the ProJam with Donny Mederos and The Blues Defenders, on Monday nights, at any of the four Oliver’s Markets in Sonoma County, many gigs with Levi Lloyd And Friends all over Sonoma County with special guests, including Mz Dee, Tia Carroll, Alvon Johnson, Daniel Castro, Volker Strifler, Terry Hanks, or onstage of the Blues Cruise with Tommy Castro, Johnny Rawls, and many, many others. I was blessed to witness this man in his element, where everything else fell away and you were in the moment."
Every once in a while a bright light shines in a sea of people. In the Sonoma County music community, (and beyond) that light was Levi Lloyd.
Levi passed from heart failure on the night of Feb 1, 2023 when he was due to play The Blue Note in Napa. He was usually the main draw at any place he'd play his blues. Whether it was in front of Olivers market, The KRSH radio station or any venue in and around the bay area. What was even better than his musical talents was his open heart and warmth for everyone he came into contact with. I've known Levi for a short dozen or so years, as it's never enough time to know someone with this kind of beautiful human kindness....and that big of a heart...but I feel lucky to be one of the hundreds of us in the music community that got those hugs and that huge smile whenever we would see one another. He was the real deal. His heart was as big as his smile and his talents on that guitar matched his lovely spirit. There are not enough kind words to describe this wonderful, human. We all have our own favourite memories of Levi, for me it was his smile and those signature Levi hugs. He always made me feel as if I was the only person in the room when he came at me with his outstretched arms and that smile! I remember when the pandemic began, seeing him in Olivers market. We were both masked, at that time the news said to stay six feet from other people. That was such a challenge when it was Levi I was to stay six feet from! I wont forget that feeling of not being able to hug him, though we broke that rule in that moment down the bread aisle! Sunday, May 21, 2023 the musical community said a formal farewell to this wonderful human by playing music for eight hours at Sally Tomatoes in Rohnert Park. Bands such as Soul Section, Celias Damn Band, and The Pulsators played amongst many others and Elvin Bishop joined Volker Strifler on stage to cap off the day. It was truly a magnificent musical masterpiece!
I was outside at some point chatting with some friends and a hummingbird was very uncharacteristically hanging around close to us. Even landing on branches without the normal hummingbirds' hovering with its fluttering wings. It was perched still on a branch (pictured below), watching over us as if it was listening to the music and the conversation amongst us. Something one doesn't see often of a hummingbird. First Ian and I noticed it, then I overheard others pointing to this unusually social hummingbird. We all agreed that it's probably Levi hanging with us all and enjoying his day.
Levi Lloyd was loved by so many people. Musicians and music lovers alike. There were approximately 1200 attendees, probably several hundred of the attendees were musicians, and about 75+ musicians played that day. Levi left behind not only hundreds of those friends and fellow musicians who loved him and will always miss him, but he also left behind his beautiful daughter Samantha and son Chris, as well as his loving partner of nearly eight years, Celia Peterson.
Whilst writing this, a couple songs' lyrics came to mind....One by Queen as Freddie Mercury was dying...."Show must go on. Show must go on. Inside my heart is breaking. My make-up may be flaking, But my smile still stays on." And Green Days' song that I want played at my own funeral, "Time of your life/Good Riddance"....."It's something unpredictable but in the end it's right, I hope you had the time of your life".... Levi. And I'm pretty sure with all the music and wonderful people that filled Levis' life...he may just have had the time of his life!
Thank you Levi Lloyd for all that epic blues guitar you filled the air with for so many years. Thank you for your beautiful soul, your warmth and your open heart that you shared with so many. You, your giant smile, your hugs and your music will never be forgotten.
Life is way too short. Appreciate each other like this man did. Everyday we get the privilege of being alive. I am so grateful for each day. And I'm grateful to have known Levi Lloyd. Levi will forever be in my heart and I know in the hearts of all the music community... With big love and gratitude, Cheryl (The Music Soup) ❤️ 🎵 🎸
©Cheryl Alterman Photography
©Cheryl Alterman Photography