By Lorraine Kay
Singer/songwriter Jimmy Buffet released his newest album “Take The Weather With You, on Mailboat Records/RCA Nashville. Last month. This is the follow-up to his first #1 debut album, “License to Chill”, by the two-time Grammy nominated artist, which featured duets with some of the biggest stars in country music, including Alan Jackson, George Strait, Kenny Chesney, Martina McBride and others. This time out he offers up a few more country tunes but includes a variety of other styles and sounds throughout the album.
This whole album has a “feel-good” thing about it. Even the “Cryin’ in your Beer” country tunes don’t really make you feel like crying. Jimmy Buffet’s song writing talents soar on this one. Even the songs he didn’t write are just as fun blending with his tongue in cheek style of humor.
There are easy ballads and interpretations of alt-country songs and even a version of a Merle Haggard classic. The CD features several outstanding musicians throughout including Coral Reefer steel guitarist Doyle Grisham, and Robert Greenbridge – master steel drummer from Trinidad and world-renowned percussionist Ralph MacDowell. Hawaiian ukulele player Jake Shimabukuro also appears on several songs.
1. Bama Breeze – This country tune is a tribute to the historic bars along the Gulf Coast. This particular bar ahs some remarkable attributes, like Mick Jagger’s autograph on the wall of the ladies’ bathroom stall. Some other fun anecdotes set it apart from a crying your beer song. The pedal lap steel stands out on this one with lots of guitar and piano.
2. Party at the end of the world – Upbeat Caribbean tune with a bit band sound with lots of timbales and steel drums and background singers about the end of the world with fun comments from invisible the chorus. As the title suggests, this is just a really fun song with a Copa Cabana swing to it.
3. Weather With you – Weather as in “Stormy Weather” as the lyrics say in this slightly mellower tune again with the Caribbean flavor about stormy times following you from place to place.
4. Everybody’s on the phone – This is a really fun song Southern Rock tune about technology. These fast moving lyrics slap at everything from computers and the Internet to cell phones with a kind of Lynyrd Skynyrd feel to it.
5. Whoop De Doo – This country ballad is a true crying in your beer song with an
attitude – whoop de doo. The smooth guitar and organ, and laid-back drums support Jimmy’s soft vocals singing about tears and loneliness.
6. Nothin’ but a breeze – This country shuffle yearns for a simple life, relaxing and growing old together. It visits the Caribbean a little also as the lyrics talk about relaxing “in the shade in old Nassau” with a hint of steel drums.
7. Cinco de Mayo in Memphis – The one visits south of the border from Beale Street in Memphis. If that sounds confusing, Jimmy has it all worked out as he sings along with Timbales and a Mariachi Band and a chorus of ladies. “Mariachis singin’ the blues, Soul sisters hugging senioritis, – all sportin’ blue suede shoes.”
8. Reggabilly Hill – This song is all over the globe. There is a Bruce Hornsby flavor to this one as it makes some nice use of keyboards and timbales added to lyrics that make some observations of the people and scenery of the neighborhood.
9. Elvis Presley Blues – This different kind of tribute to Elvis is a country blues tune. “I was thinking that night about Elvis, the day that he died.” It is something akin to “American Pie.”
10. Hula Girl at Heart – Another country shuffle, this one has some very sweet lyrics supported by the pedal steel giving the song the Hawaiian tone. But there is a lot of other color in this song including some 50s style back-up vocals.
11. Wheel inside the wheel – This funky swampy rocker take on Mary Gauthier’s tune has Jimmy talking the lyrics as he tells the story about life and how everything fits together, the wheel within the wheel. The “swampy” rhythms were crafted by Lafayette, LA slide guitarist Sonny Landreth.
12. Silver Wings – This country shuffle ahs a bit more Caribbean feel to it with lots of timbales and steel drums. This is another crying in your beer tune about a girl flying away and leaving him behind.
13. Breathe in, Breathe out, Move on – This is Jimmy’s philosophical look at the devastation of New Orleans caused by Hurricane Katrina. It is a nice acoustic folk tune with a positive message. The Pedal steel and blues harp add a nice touch supporting the acoustic guitar. There are lots of textures, including a mellow pedal steel solo and a very nice build on the vocals
14. Duke’s on Sunday – This is kind of Sheryl Crow’s “All I Wanna Do ” meets country. It is a kind of lazy Sunday afternoon song.
Bonus Video – “Here We Are” is played to a collage of old photos and new concert video footage.