Hoffman's Houston
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Ken Hoffman reveals Jimmy Buffett's big Woodlands connection and details on a new album

Ken Hoffman reveals Jimmy Buffett's big Woodlands connection

Jimmy Buffett
Parrotheads, get ready for a new Buffett album. Photo by Julie Skarratt

Jimmy Buffett's concert at the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion in The Woodlands, originally scheduled for May 16 has been postponed to (fingers crossed) June 27. Tickets for the May show will be honored at the June date, or whenever the concert finally happens. But in the meantime...

Buffett has kicked off a "Cabin Fever 2020 Tour — Your Virtual License to Chill" online. Every Wednesday and Saturday night, a different Buffett concert will stream in its entirety in full stereo. All the shows kick off at 7 pm, with a replay at 10 pm. Next up, Saturday, is a 1995 concert from Hartford, followed next Wednesday with a 2017 show from Wellington, New Zealand.

"We selected concerts from different stages of Jimmy's career from different parts of the world, shows that most fans didn't get to see," says Coleman Sisson, whose BubbleUp digital and marketing company in The Woodlands operates the Buffett websites: Margaritaville.com, Margaritaville.TV, radiomargaritaville.com, and jimmybuffett.com.

Sisson, along with Buffett team members Stan Kellam and Lee Totten, picked the concerts to stream. They had a lot to pick from. Buffett has recorded all of his concerts for the past 25 years. 

Buffett optimistically heads back on the road in early June. "He's ready to go," says Sisson. "But exactly where and when he can perform depends on when the municipalities open up their economies and rules for large groups to gather." For example, concerts may be held almost immediately in Georgia, while New York and California may take several more months — if at all — in 2020.

The coronavirus pandemic isn't stopping Buffett from releasing a new album, Life on the Flip Side, on May 29. It's his 48th album (27 studio, 12 live, and 9 compilation packages) in the U.S., with many more in foreign countries.

This is Buffett's first new studio album of original material in seven years. Sisson says he was with Buffett during the Life on the Flip Side sessions in Key West and, "it's got a lot of great stuff." There are 14 tracks, some ballads, but the album is definitely upbeat. Video of the first single, "Down at the Lah De Dah," is up on YouTube.

The album, which includes a 60-page booklet, will be sold at all the usual sites on May 29, but if you purchase it at Buffett's personal label, MailBoat Records, there's a special package that includes the CD and a Life on the Flipside ball cap for $24.99, with net proceeds going toward COVID-19 charities.

Life on the Flip Side feature song titles like, "Live Your Life like it's Your Last Day," "Slack Tide," "Half Drunk," "Hey That's My Wave," "Cussin' Island," and "15 Cuban Minutes," including some with "explicit warning labels," which show Buffett in his beloved rocking Caribbean sway.

In other words, songs that get Parrotheads rarin' to go in parking lot tailgates and on their feet during concerts. I'm a Buffett completist, even including the extensive catalog of live albums. I can't wait to get my hands and ears on the Flipside

I remember the first time I heard about this Caribbean soul rocker from Key West — by way of New Orleans. I was reading a review of his Living and Dying in 3/4 Time album in Playboy magazine, and the writer said there was more gossip in one Jimmy Buffett album than a whole month of the National Enquirer.

I thought, I need to give this guy a listen. Buffett quickly became my favorite American artist. A few months later, I was invited to Criteria Studios in Miami to watch him and producers mix his live Your Had to Be There album recorded at Gusman Hall in Miami and the Fox Theatre in Atlanta.

I remember a funny incident: Buffett asked what I thought about the album. I said I loved it, but there's a mistake in the lyrics on the back. It said, in "Cheeseburger in Paradise," that you like your cheeseburgers "medium rare with mustard be nice." He looked at the album and said, "No! They got it wrong!. It should be "cheeseburger with Muenster'd be nice." If it's not Muenster, there's no cheese on this cheeseburger. Buffett grabbed the album from me and admitted, 'you're right."

So there you go, Parrotheads. The correct ingredients for a Cheeseburger in Paradise are: a big warm bun, a huge hunk of medium rare meat, onion slice, Muenster cheese, lettuce and tomatoes, Heinz 57, french fries, and a cold draft beer. As the menu in New York delis say, no substitutions.  

Sisson also has new websites called Find Open Restaurants websites for Houston and The Woodlands. Just search by restaurant name, zip code, or cuisine and you'll see what's open for business, what they're serving, whether they're offering pick up, curbside or delivery service and what times they're operating.