For a variety of reasons, I'm not going to see Jimmy Buffett this year. (Davy Moseley will be covering the May 22 show in Frisco for the News-Telegram.)
It'll be the first time in ages that I've missed Buffett's swing through the Lone Star State. Heck, in the past 30 years, I've been all over the country (Florida, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin and Virginia) and even flown to two Hawaiian Islands (Maui and Oahu) following the parrothead carnival.
However, this year is different. He's coming to Frisco at the end of May, which is a busy time at my house. It's going to be hotter than the hinges of hell at the venue - there are no trees and the stadium is down in a hole. I'm older than I used to be and I don't do heat well. Fact is, I wilt. Also, my son, who was raised on Buffett's music, and who goes with me each year, can't come home from Tennessee that weekend due to a fishing tournament.
So, as things on the parrothead nation's website, www.buffettnews.com, have been gearing up with tailgating plans, I've been a little blue.
That is, until last week, when I found out Willis Alan Ramsey is playing in Dallas on Thursday, May 13.
Willis Alan and Jimmy hit the scene about the same time - in the early 1970s. Willis Alan is a Dallas native and played a lot of gigs on Greenville Avenue, just around the corner from my grandparents' house on Richard Street.
He recorded one album in 1972 and then disappeared, but his influence has been felt by almost any singer/songwriter who has stood before a microphone since then, including Lyle Lovett, who said he wanted to be Willis Alan Ramsey. For Willis Alan, it's always been about the story-telling.
Buffett told great stories and played Greenville Avenue, too, before he went all-Margaritaville on us. He still writes a good one now and then, but a Buffett show these days is more of a total experience, including a three-day-long tailgate party, with RV's as far as the eye can see and everyone dressed up in their best island attire. Not that there's anything wrong with a huge flocking in the parking lot once a year, but lately I've been rediscovering the music that moved me when I was young - and no one spoke to me like Willis Alan.
Willis Alan doesn't perform much and normally eschews the press. Since the second album - "Gentilly" - probably won't be released in my lifeteime, seeing him in a small listening room like Poor David's Pub is going to be a real treat.
To add to my good fortune, Willis Alan has also agreed to sit for an interivew this week for my "Songwriters Sojourn" series. I'm really stoked about talking to him. A long-time dream is coming true.
No Jimmy, but a Willis Alan interview and show. Things have a way of working out. Indeed.
Now, if I can just remember to breathe when he calls.
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