Saturday, July 10, 2010

Jimmy Buffett steps up for the lifestyle he loves

The music of Jimmy Buffett has been one long celebration of the lifestyle enjoyed by the people of the gulf states, the Florida Keys and the Caribbean. That lifestyle is now threatened by the massive man-made disaster that is the BP oil spill and Jimmy Buffett is stepping up to raise money and awareness about the disaster in the gulf states.
As tar balls lap up on shore from the BP oil spill, Mr. Buffett, 63, is going to headline “Live From the Gulf Coast,” a benefit concert (though the tickets are free) being televised nationally on CMT at 7 on Sunday evening. He will play at a specially made 35,000-person outdoor setting only 100 feet from the ocean’s edge in Gulf Shores, about 45 miles southeast of Mobile.

“There are always welcome breaks in every storm, but the unfortunate reality is that this disaster is not going away for a while,” Mr. Buffett said in a statement announcing the concert, which also features the singers Zac Brown, Allen Toussaint and Jesse Winchester. “But a few hours of fun, void of the constant reminders of the situation, is a good thing, and that is basically what I do.”

This is not a standard postdisaster fund-raiser, with somber pleas for donations and heart-grabbing photographs of victims. That would be very un-Buffett.

The goal is to coax vacationers with a fun-in-the-sun message: The water is warm, the drinks are cool, and the Gulf is open for business. Come down and see. And who better to deliver the pitch than Mr. Buffett, a lifelong Gulf Shores vacationer whose musical philosophy is often described as island escapism?
Hopefully Jimmy Buffett can pull this off and bring some much needed cheer to our neighbors on the gulf. In the meantime, let's all enjoy a little Buffett . . .

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