Normally, when Jimmy Buffett comes to Texas, it’s the beginning of Spring, when everyone ditches their hoodies, long pants and woolen socks and pulls out the Hawaiian shirts, surfer shorts and flip flops.
Of course, Spring 2013 has been anything but normal.
Last Thursday’s Buffett show in Austin was moved to Friday due to high winds and a chill factor way below freezing.
Saturday night in Frisco might have been a little less dangerous, but after a 30-minute opening set from Buffett’s friend and fellow Baby Boomer rocker Jackson Browne, the sun had set, forcing Buffett and most of the Coral Reefer Band into long sleeves and sweatshirts, while the crowd huddled up to keep warm as the group strutted their stuff.
On April 27, Buffett kicked off the “Songs from St. Somewhere” tour in Nashville – with good reason. This show has a real country feel. He worked for Billboard magazine in Nashville after graduating from the University of Southern Mississippi.
With tunes like “Ringling, Ringling,” “Back Where I Come From,” “Knee Deep,” “Five O’Clock Somewhere,” and a new song, “Too Drunk to Karaoke,” Buffett seems to be revisiting his country roots.
“Ringling” is a tune about a “dying little town” in Montana. “Back Where I Come From” was penned and released in 1990 by Mac McAnally, Buffett’s long-time musical director, and a native of Belmont, Mississippi. Kenny Chesney had a huge hit with the song on his 1996 album “Me and You,” and it made an appearance on Chesney’s “Greatest Hits” record in 2000. “Knee Deep” was recorded by Buffett and the Zac Brown Band in 2011.
Buffett teamed up with Alan Jackson for a brief 34-second appearance in “Five O’Clock Somewhere,” which was a huge hit for the pair in 2003, winning the Country Music Association’s Vocal Event of the Year. It became the first Top 40 hit for Buffett since the 1970s.
“Too Drunk to Karaoke,” a duet with Toby Keith, will be on Buffett’s new record due for release in July. It’s destined to be a cross-over hit in some circles, but I’m not sure it’s going to be a favorite with parrotheads.
As one fan who was sitting next to me said, “It just doesn’t sound like Jimmy.”
But, then again, that may be the plan – do something a bit different and see what happens.
At the end of the set, Buffett and his marvelous Coral Reefer Band paid tribute to George Jones, who died April 26.
Their cover of “Bartender’s Blues” may be one of the best ever, especially with the talented McAnally, 5-time CMA Musician of the Year, lending his growling vocals to the classic honky tonk tune.
Of course, Buffett knows where his bread his buttered, so he played most of “the big 8,” as he refers to them – songs like “Volcano,” “Come Monday,” “Cheeseburger in Paradise,” “Fins,” a lovely acoustic arrangement of Steven Stills’ “Southern Cross,” and, of course, the Parrothead National Anthem, “Margaritaville,” which includes a new verse about last year’s scary tumble from a stage in Australia.
There’s something addictive about Jimmy Buffett and his music. Frisco’s show proved his long-time, loyal fans will endure a cold and blustery night to get their annual fix. Phins up!
For a list of announced Buffett tour dates for 2013, click here.
To watch the video of Alan Jackson and Jimmy Buffett's "Five O'Clock Somewhere," click here.
To keep up with the happenings at Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville Resort and Casino in Bossier City, including opening dates, click here.
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