Posts tagged ‘Road Trip’

December 23, 2009

Gulf Shores Songwriter’s Festival: Pirate’s Cove Introduction

As is my habit when listening to a new Jimmy Buffett Album, I grab the the Liner Notes to not only read the lyrics, but also to check out the writing credits and to see if Jimmy has any guest musicians joining in. So it was that in 2004, when I first listened to License to Chill’s Cut #5, it was Jimmy and Toby Keith doing a cover of Will Kimbrough’s Piece of Work. The song resonated with me (my wife has called me a Piece of Work many times), so I of course did a little research on Will, only to find out that he had been the lead guitarist for Todd Snider’s Nervous Wrecks.

Then two years later, on the video for Take the Weather With You, there was Will again. This time writing and recording at Friendly Jim’s Portable Recording Studio on the friendly beaches of St. Barthelmey in the French West Indies. Only by then, he was known as “Les Nebulous.” He had joined Jimmy Buffett, Peter Mayer, and Roger Guth in the Caribbean to write songs for the upcoming album. Nice gig Will!

So it is that last month when I learned that Will had made some more contributions to Jimmy’s Hotel Buffett by supplying another cover song, and co-writing credits on three others, I had to learn more about him. To my surprise,  Will had a show  coming up  in November down in Gulf Shores and made plans to see him in person. In the prior two short weeks I had fallen in love with his work as a solo performer, especially Nobody from Nowhere, and his collaboration with Tommy Womack in their band Daddy.

He was playing at this mystical venue named Pirate’s Cove in Josephine, Alabama. A waterfront bar and restaurant that caters not only to human clientele, but also has an open door policy to any stray dog that is curious or hungry enough to stop in. Will and I had talked on the phone, and had planned to meet at Pirate’s Cove an hour before the show, but the torrential rains being blown in from the Gulf, and lost satellite coverage for my GPS, had me arriving almost at show time. When I got there, I spent a little bit of time with Will as he greeted many a friend (he grew up in Mobile), and we had just enough time to share a beer before show time.

Pirates Cove is an old restaurant/bar with a semi-perminate (Winters) tent  addition that covered the “Listenin’ Zone” where Will would be performing. I must admit that I was temporarily bummed to learn that he would be sharing the stage with another musician (I didn’t know the show was a part of the Songwriters Festival). His fellow musician turned out to be Spencer Bohren, from New Orleans. Man what a talent, and what a night. These two guys had never met, yet played together like they had been a duo for years. It was a cozy evening with about 40 to 50 people who braved the rain and thirteen dogs laying around on a collection of persian rugs… it couldn’t have been more Bohemian.

That afternoon I had purchased a new HD Camcorder, and had barely had enough time to charge the battery, which died before the last two songs of the set (he says regretting his decision to not buy a backup battery). The light was dim, and the rain was so loud at times it almost drowned out the music, but I think the video I shot matched the mood of the evening. It all turned out to be one of the most mystical musical experiences of my life.

Let’s start with the intro. Will and Spencer switched off playing one of their original through out the night, and that’s how we’ll present it here at Club St. Somewhere. I hope you enjoy it.

December 19, 2009


I’ve tried to review Jimmy’s songs in the past. I even tried to have a section on one of my web pages to address his whole collection of work. It just never happened. I can’t seem to boil it down to a system. Four Stars? A – F? One to Ten?

For me, it just doesn’t boil down to any of those. It’s too big. I’ve been listening to Jimmy for over half my life, and that’s saying something… Since Jimmy and I are approaching 64 (will you still love us?) years. I’m not one of those complaining bitching, Church of Buffett, GOP’s (Grumpy Old Parrotheads). I love it that he’s changed, and so has his music. Being the same age as Bubba, I feel like we’ve grown up together. His music is just enjoyable, and I don’t need to dissect it. I don’t look at it song by song. I look at his body of work in its totality, as an ever-expanding collection. And I’m glad it’s still coming.

Diving into a Buffett Album is a process for me. Questions to be asked. Researching various words, people and places mentioned in the music. Jimmy makes me think, wonder, and ponder.

So, here’s my take on Buffet Hotel. I downloaded the album (21st Century PH style)   the day it came out. I didn’t have the chance to listen to it all the first few days, but my fast sampling told me, that this was one of those albums that would grow on me.

This “Process” takes awhile too. Pausing, fast-forwarding, backing up, taking notes, reading the lyrics as I listen. And it all started a few days after my iTunes download, on a Delta flight from Atlanta, finishing up a week later in my Georgia hotel room on a cold Saturday morning.

My over all reaction: I like it. I really like it! It’s already grown on me. For one thing it really showcases Jimmy’s rich voice. It is a departure from his past “Tropical” fare, but that’s OK with me. I don’t need to be stuck on a Tropical Island for thirty years. I’ll be listening to this one for a long time.

So, with no further ado… here are my thoughts as I listened to Buffet Hotel:

Nobody From Nowhere

I can’t remember waiting for a Buffett Album because of a cover song before. This was a first. I’ve been listening to Will Kimbrough’s and the Daddy version he and Tommy Womack recorded for a couple of months now. It immediately became one of those songs I played over and over again. To say I was looking forward to hearing Jimmy’s interpretation would be an understatement.

From the first note, I could tell Jimmy heard the same song I did when he was listening to it. Same tone… Hell, he almost sounded like Will for the first few verses before he took over and made it his own. Very few differences: “There” became “Here” and Tommy became the Reeferettes. The backup was as if it was made for Tina and Nadirah. No “Dis” on Tommy meant either. I love that crazy man.

I’ll be listening to all three versions over and over again for a long time.


Man, I can almost hear the complaints from some of those clowns that hang out on the discussion boards at Buffett News or Jimmy Dreamz! Get Over It! A little banjo music every once in awhile is good for the soul. Quit being so friggin’ pompous and enjoy yourself.

Jimmy and Will Kimbrough teamed up on this one. I’ve only heard Will sing it once, and I’m not familiar with the great lyrics, but you can bet I’ll be comparing Jimmy’s and Will’s versions soon. Wings will appear on Will’s next album due out the first of the year. Given that, there are a few lyrics that sound like Jimmy; like “Treetop Flyer,” “Tiny beach bars,” or “Mountains of the Moon.”

And speaking of lyrics… I had to laugh when I heard “Tiny Swimmers.” I immediately had visions of thousands of sperm swimming upstream. And my favorite line was: I don’t need no runway, I got fuel here in my bong.

When I get to listen to Jimmy and making note for future writing, it sometimes slows me down. I start asking questions, and my mind wanders (my version of ADD I guess). And I love it. This song came with questions: “Silver Wings like Merle and me?” Does Merle Haggard have a song “Silver Wings?” Do Merle and Jimmy have the same plane?” And what the heck does “Cloud 9B” mean? Again, research is on the horizon. Now that I think of it, Jimmy has done “Silver Wings,” and yes it was one of Merles.

And what about “Ground Control to Major Jim?” Obviously a play on “Ground Control to Major Tom,” but is he talking to Jim Mayer? Just another great play on words that Bubba is so famous for… much like the great line from the infamous Beach House On the Moon “Shuttle Video” that had that classic, “Roger… Guth.”

All this makes me really like this song, but hey, it’s really as simple as, “Give me a song with Jimmy Buffett singing about airplanes and flying, and I’m onboard… “

“Clear!” (You Pilots know what this means)

Big Top

Boy, it would be so easy to give you reasons why this is a great song. I could get really anal and go through it line by line. But I won’t. Who needs a 32 oz Coke at this stage of our Parrot Head Lives anyway?

If you don’t get it, you weren’t one of us! My friends and I have been having a Big Time under the Big Top when the circus came to town, singin’ along with our favorites, for a long time now. Jimmy was just like Santa. We waited for him each year. Just look at those Fins… Left, Right. Jimmy gets it. He knows he was an Accessory in front of the Pack.

My advise to everyone… All you Parrot Heads out there… is to listen to this song over and over and conjure up all your great memories from the past thirty plus years, and just try not to smile.

I don’t need no runway, I got fuel here in my bong. I see this song as an ode to come. A sign of Jimmy knowing the end is near, and putting our history together in perspective. Thanks Jimmy, you made me feel good about being a Parrot Head again. See you at that Last Jump Up… Soon.

Beautiful Swimmers

This song is so beautiful: it made me sad.

Why? Well, just like there are so many people out there that just don’t get Jimmy Buffett or the Parrot Head Phenomenon… There at a lot of Parrot Heads out there that just won’t get this song. I could be wrong… I hope I am.

I think being the same age as Jimmy has given me a great perspective over the years. Not only did I know who Lucille Ball, Ricky Ricardo were, I actually watched them in “Real Time” on TV. And as Jimmy sings about Norma Jean’s Night Shoot in the Pool, I can actually remember sneaking looks at those Life Magazine photos through a young man’s eyes. Thanks Jimmy, for bringing this memory back. You have done this so often.

Great sound… Full of Great lyrics.

I miss my dorsal fin, I can’t explain it.

Beautiful Swimmers just feel the groove, Painting liquid brushstrokes like Renoir

Slidin’ cross the water like a Steel Guitar… Thanks Doyle.

If you don’t like this song, and need another “Drinking Song,” fast forward to “A lot to Drink About.” Thanks for this one Jimmy… We might be Old, But we’re Cool.

Turn Up The Heat And Chill The Rose

This Album is Cool. The word “Cool” appears though out.

Jimmy, you’re been my favorite Rapper since Autour Du Rocher! Thanks for giving us another one. You even mention Le Select again. Working Uranus, Metatarsals, Uggs, Eden Rock, and Le Bete de Nazelles into the same song… You’re a genius.

For decades I’ve said, “Life is like a Shit Sandwich… Without the Bread.” But after listening to this song, I’m switching to, “Life can be a banana split, and in a second turn to shit.”


Thanks Mac and Jimmy. You just shook me by my shoulders. I needed to remember what’s cool. My priorities have certainly been out of place. I’ve been participating in the recession too deeply… I’m actually working for the FDIC with all these failing banks. Talk about tweaking your attitude. I’ve been under the gun for sure.

There truly is a time and a place to act like a fool. And since I’m heading back to California next weekend, I’m going straight to the beach. It’s only steps away from my house in Capo Beach. And while I’m thinking about it, I’m heading to the your favorite surf shop in the city next door, San Clemente, and say hi to Billy Stewart. After all, at sixty-three, that Big Report Card is just around the corner. Time to remember what’s cool. Thanks for the reminder.

Rhumba Man

A lot of people find it hard to believe that I just started listing to Radio Margaritaville this year; especially since I’ve been a Parrot Head for… like forever. I blame it on two things: When RM first came out, the streaming was sporadic and as it was RM really catching on during BHOTM, I was going through burn-out from seeing over fifty concerts in a row.

So, this summer, as I was renting cars that had Sirius installed, I discovered that things had changed and RM was fun to listen to. I happened to catch a summer concert on RM this year as I was talking with my friend Susan Blankenship, of Spooner Radio fame, when Rhumba Man came on. It immediately caught my ear, and I asked Susan what the name of the song was (Susan had RM on at the same time). “That’s Jessie Winchester’s Rhumba Man” was the educated answer I got.

While I don’t know how many more albums Jimmy’s going to put out, the one thing I can tell you for sure is: we’re going to see more covers than we have in the past. And if Nobody from Nowhere and Rhumba Man are indicative of what we’re going to be hearing, that’s OK with me.

Besides being a great song, I couldn’t help but thinking back a few years to a conversation I had with some of the Reefers. They happened to mention that when they went out together while they were on the road they sometimes went dancing, and that Jimmy was quite the dancer. I’ll be listening to this song a lot, and waiting to see Jimmy dancing with either Tina or Nadirah on stage.

We Learned to Be Cool from You

First off, who’s Jimmy singing to in this song? At the end, it’s addresses to his good friend Walter Cronkite. And speaking of grey mustaches, Jimmy has used his facial hair to address his aging before, as in, “little more mustache turnin’ grey.”

I can just hear the younger Parrotheads asking, “who’s Sarah Vaughn?” And I wonder how many Parrotheads even have Sarah Vaughn on their iPods? I do. And don’t you just love it when Jimmy “Parlez Francias?” The reference to Leonard and Willie got me thinkin’. The Willie was easy. But “Leonard?” If it were Lynard, it would be easy to figure out. I’m guessing Leonard Cohen on this one, since it seems to be a country theme.

I’m also scratching my head on the “doing a crossword puzzle in a second or two.” Is it just me? Or do you have a hard time seeing Jimmy doing crossword puzzles too?

So Jimmy, you just keep “singing without shame” and I’ll keep “listening without shame.” This is a simple, mellow song that old guys like us can relate too. And thanks for teaching me to be cool. In the meantime, I want to find out where the “Mermaid Café” is.

And That’s the Way It is

Surfing In A Hurricane

OK, now we’re talkin’! I grew up surfing in California listening to the 60’s Surf Sound. Eight Tracks of the Rhythm Rockers and Chanteys. Dick Dale and Jan & Dean. I know what it’s like to drop down to the Impact Zone with my Cajones in my throat. Jimmy took me back to my youth with this one. And that was certainly “Cool.”

But even this one left me with questions. Does Will Kimbrough (co-writer on this song) Surf? Who ’splaying that Duane Eddy Twangy guitar. I’m pretty sure it’s Will. I’ll have to ask him next time we talk.

Life Short Call Now

Another Cover. This time Bruce Cockburn. I loved Pacing the Cage during the BHOTM Tour! I’d love to know how Jimmy picked this one. Bruce seems to have experience with the pain of life. Another question worthy of research, “How many people has Jimmy covered twice?” Club St. Somewhere is going to have to look into this one.

Buffet Hotel

Again with the French! So the album theme is “Cool” and “French.” But, there’s nothing cool about the French Jimmy! The song has a sexy Expat feel to it. You almost feel you’re out in the “Territory.”

Question? Yeah I got one: what the heck is “Tuareg.” A visit to Wikipedia tells us this:

The Tuareg are a Berber nomadic pastoralist people. The are the principal inhabitants of the Saharan interior of North Africa. OK, that explains it… except for one thing. What the heck is “Pastoralist?” Back to Wikipedia for:

Animal husbandry: the care, tending and use of animals such as camels, goats, cattle, yaks, llamas, and sheep. Herds in search of fresh pasture and water.

Damn Buffett’s smart! That leaves “My favorite Lines in the Song”:

Sand in the couscous

Sand in the wine

There was sand in my guitar case

Stories in my mind

Machine guns on the hilltop

Camels in my tent

Only Jimmy can write shit like that! And the song is about Travel. Something Jimmy has inspired me to do often. Thanks Jimmy for all the travel advise. Guess I have to go to North Africa now. Can I borrow one of your jets?

A Lot To Drink About

Token “Drinking Song” for the Parrotheads. Though timely and well written, with lyrics that spell out the mess we’re in. But, I’ll get tired of this a lot faster than Margaritaville. In fact I’m over it already. Doubt I listen to it many more times. And I’m sure this will put me out of PH Norm. Just like the fact that Somewhere Over China is my favorite Buffett album. I can live with this.

There you have it. Leaving us with a couple of more questions. How many more albums will Jimmy put out? When will he hang it up… Only Time Will Tell.

December 3, 2009


Through the past thirty plus years, Jimmy has schooled us in the fact that much of what he is has to do with his Catholic School upbringing. Many of the lyrics I have listened to for all these years were influenced by Jimmy’s early years spent at St. Ignatius Catholic Grammar School in Mobile, Alabama.

And since much of my personal interpretation of being a Jimmy Buffett fan was influenced by the fact that my early years as an Internet Parrot Head were spent living up to my screen name “Bubbafreak,”  that when I found myself down in Gulf Shores two weekends ago, doing some Internet research prior to going out to do a little exploring in Jimmy’s old hunting grounds, I came up with several ways to fill my afternoon prior to going to Will Kimbrough’s show that Saturday night.

There was of course Jimmy’s Crazy Sista’s restaurant LuLu’s just up the road. And Jimmy’s parents lived in Daphne and then their later years in beautiful Fairhope, Alabama. A search also produced his niece’s Yoga Studio and the fact that Jimmy’s parents were buried in a certain cemetery in Fairhope. I’m not really into yoga, and visiting his parent’s grave site was just too weird, and seemed to be an invasion of his privacy. But I wasn’t too proud to try to find his grammar school! So, I fired up the GPS, and I was on my way.

After taking these photos, something special happened. As I was walking to the back of the campus to the sports field, I ran into three little girls walking their dog. As we stopped to talk, they ask me what I was doing. I told them I was visiting the school because Jimmy Buffett went to school there. Now, my experience told me that these cute little ladies would probably not have a clue to who Jimmy was. You can imagine who surprise I was when all three of them got big smiles on their faces as they happily told me they knew exactly who Jimmy Buffett was. In fact, one little girl said, “And my teacher Ms. Harriet Fagen was his teacher.”

It was a beautiful school in a beautiful setting. And just like Jimmy, it had aged well. Buffett and I are exactly the same age, and my grammar school didn’t look this good when it was new. I’d hate to see what it looked like now. I came away from my visit thinking that Jimmy had a great childhood and great parents. Now wonder he’s such a happy person and so successful.

December 2, 2009


When my wife gave me permission to go out and finally buy an RV, I knew that it brought with it a responsibility. A responsibility to get one Barb could live in. Well I found it! I brought it home today, but thought I’d ask if anyone out there had any opinions on whether you think she’s gonna like it or not before I show it to her. What do you think???

OK, I can hear the questions now. Primarily, “What the heck does this have to do with “Following in Jimmy Buffett’s Wake?”


November 20, 2009

A Sneak Peak at Pirate’s Cove – Josephine, Alabama

Ever since I made plans to catch Will Kimbrough at Pirates Cove on November 21, I’ve been trying to get a feel for what kind of place I’d end up. After a picture here and there on the Internet, I finally stumbles across this Video that gave me a pretty good idea of what to expect. I’d heard the Dogs had the run of the place, and it looks like that’s a fact. This was shot on a Summer’s Day, and it’s almost Winter now, but I’m still looking forward to it. Boats, Music and Dogs… Three of my favorite things.

I got the chance to talk to Will Kimbrough on the phone today as he was driving down I-65 from Nashville. Man, what a guy! I’m really looking forward to meeting him in person. I need a Road Trip, and I’ll be hitting the road from Atlanta down to Gulf Shores tomorrow mid-day. Look out Red Neck Riviera, Bubba’s comin’ your way.