New York folk-rocker Willie Nile is exclusively premiering a new song, "When Levon Sings," from his upcoming album, World War Willie, exclusively on The Boot.

World War Willie is the veteran singer's 10th studio record, and "When Levon Sings" is one of its 12 tracks, about the late and beloved Levon Helm of the Band. Nile wrote the tune with Jefferson Grizzard.

"Levon Helm was a friend of mine and someone I deeply admired, as an artist and as a person," Nile tells The Boot. "He was deep, honest and salt-of-the-earth real. When he sang, the angels would stop and listen ... I wanted to write something to honor him, and "When Levon Sings" was the result."

"Born on a farm down in Arkansas / Best damn singer that you ever saw," Nile sings in the upbeat tune. "Now he's keeping time with the man upstairs / When the lighting cracks, that's Levon's snare."

World War Willie, due out April 1 on Nile's own River House Records through Virtual Label, gives listeners a taste of what it's like to hear the artist live.

“There’s a live feel to the tracks because we captured an actual performance on every one,” Nile says. “The band and I have done so many shows together that our instincts all seem to arrive at the same intersection at the same time. We all play and feel as one, and there’s an energy there that you can’t manufacture.”

Nile, who hails from Buffalo, N.Y., has earned praise from music greats such as Bruce Springsteen, Lucinda Williams and more. Visit for information on World War Willie and his upcoming shows.

Listen to Willie Nile, "When Levon Sings":

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