Jimmy Buffett was in New Orleans on Friday for the memorial service for his friend Allen Toussaint.
Jimmy and Allen at the New Orleans Jazz Fest in 2014
World-renowned stars and home folks who love New Orleans’ rich musical heritage crowded into a historic theater Friday to bid farewell in words and song to Allen Toussaint, a prolific songwriter, performer and producer who died last week at age 77.
Jimmy Buffett sang “Fortune Teller.” Davell Crawford accompanied himself on piano, singing a haunting version of “Southern Nights,” the New Orleans-born Toussaint’s reminiscence of childhood visits to relatives in rural south Louisiana. Other performers included John Boutte, Dr. John and New Orleans’ “Queen of Soul” Irma Thomas, who said farewell with a gospel tune. The Preservation Hall Brass Band joined Trombone Shorty to close out the performances with a rousing “I’ll Fly Away.”
The tribute was at the Orpheum, recently renovated and reopened a decade after it was damaged by Hurricane Katrina. The performances were carried live on the city’s community radio station WWOZ. Toussaint’s body lay in repose in a closed casket in the theater.
Toussaint died from a heart attack on Nov. 10 while on tour in Spain. A private burial is planned Saturday.
Jimmy Buffett’s last studio album, Songs From St. Somewhere (2013), included the Toby Keith duet “Too Drunk to Karaoke”. Around the same time that the pair recorded that song, they also recorded “Sailboat For Sale” for a later Keith album, and the time has now come.
Toby Keith will release his next studio album entitled 35 MPH Town on October 9th, and “Sailboat For Sale” with Buffett is listed as the 8th track on the record.
Don’t forget to get tickets to one of Buffett’s fall shows!
(hat tip HavanaMatt)
Even if you don’t know who Jesse Winchester is, as a Buffett fan you’ve likely heard at least one of his songs. In Buffett’s long career, he’s recorded six of Winchester’s songs: Rhumba Man, L’air De La Louisiane, Defying Gravity, Biloxi, Nothing But a Breeze, and I Wave Bye Bye. In the liner notes of the box set Boats, Beaches, Bars, and Ballads, Buffett said “like a solid relief pitcher, Jesse Winchester is a source of songs I return to again and again. ”
Winchester died at his home in Charlottesville, Virginia on Friday morning after battling cancer. He was 69.
When Buffett played the concert for the Gulf Coast in 2010, Winchester joined Buffett on stage to sing “Rhumba Man,” “Mississippi You’re On My Mind,” and “Biloxi.”
A year after that, in 2011, Jesse was told he had esophageal cancer. He stopped in the middle of a tour and began radiation treatments, followed by surgery. Immediately, Buffett and Elvis Costello agreed that it would be a good idea to put together a tribute album as a show of support.
At Christmas of 2011 Buffett wrote to Jesse and told him the album was coming, a gift from a whole bunch of grateful musicians and songwriters to a master. Jesse expressed his gratitude and had some good news of his own. He had beat the odds – after treatment and surgery the doctors had told him he was cancer free.
Winchester’s cancer returned in February, this time in his bladder and was inoperable.
Download the tribute album Quiet About It at iTunes.
Read more about Jesse Winchester’s life here.
The Everglades Foundation held their ninth annual ForEverglades Benefit at the Breakers Palm Beach on Saturday night with headliner the Zac Brown Band.
Towards the end of the show, which was hosted by Katie Couric, Jimmy Buffett surprised the crowd and joined Zac on stage.
Couric posted a poor quality video of Jimmy and Zac: watch.
Jimmy Buffett was able to nab Toby Keith for his new single “Too Drunk to Karaoke”, but a couple years ago Keith was unable to get Buffett for one of his songs that became a big hit:
“I always talk about Willie and Hag (Merle Haggard) and people like that. Guys like Jimmy Buffett were just as big of an influence on me growing up as anybody,” Keith said.
Keith, who recorded the albums “Unleashed” and “Shock’n Y’all” in Buffett’s Florida studios, said he offered “Red Solo Cup” to the Margaritaville singer as a duet in 2011, but then went on with it himself. Buffett reached out to Keith for “Too Drunk to Karaoke.”
“To me, to work with Jimmy Buffett is a feather in my hat. I think the guy’s brilliant in what he does,” Keith said.
Watch the video for “Too Drunk to Karaoke”.
Sammy Hagar is releasing a new duets album Sammy Hagar & Friends and a Jimmy Buffett tune will make an appearance:
Ronnie Dunn‘s participation in Sammy Hagar‘s upcoming album, ‘Sammy Hagar and Friends,’ was announced weeks ago. Now there’s another country voice added to the star-studded collection. Toby Keith will also join Hagar on the CD of collaborations, performing a duet version of the Jimmy Buffett hit, ‘Margaritaville.’
This isn’t Hagar and Keith’s first time singing together. The longtime friends have shared a stage several times in the past, including this performance of the two music icons singing Van Halen‘s hit song ‘Finish What Ya Started’ while in Cabo San Lucas. More recently, the rocker joined Keith for his Oklahoma Twister Relief Concert, which also included appearances by Garth Brooks, Trisha Yearwood, Willie Nelson and John Anderson.
Other artists appearing on Hagar’s upcoming album include Kid Rock, Nancy Wilson from Heart, Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith and Journey guitarist Neal Schon.