Mississippi native Jimmy Buffett moved to Nashville in the late 1960s to establish a career in Country music. When his first album failed to achieve that goal, he headed to southern Florida, and soon caught the attention of millions of fans with his blend of tropical folk-rock music. Last year, Jimmy returned to his Country roots, and recorded a No. 1 duet with Country star Alan Jackson. Now, he's sailing further into Country waters with his new CD, License To Chill.
Jimmy Buffett is joined by many of his Country music friends on his new album, License To Chill. The title track is a duet with one of today's biggest stars, Kenny Chesney. He's one of several Country artists influenced by Buffett's sound. Kenny's tropical-flavored hits include the recent Number One single, "When The Sun Goes Down."
Buffett hand-picked each of the guests on License To Chill. In addition to Kenny Chesney, Jimmy collaborated with Martina McBride, George Strait, Clint Black, Nanci Griffith and Alan Jackson. Jackson and Buffett's first duet was released in 1999. They recorded a new version of Jimmy's classic "Margaritaville," which Alan included on his album of cover songs, Under The Influence. Last year, they teamed again on Jackson's party song "It's Five O'Clock Somewhere." The single topped the Country chart for eight weeks, and earned Buffett his first industry award. Toby Keith met Jimmy last year while recording his multi-million-selling album, Shock 'N Ya'll, at Buffett's Shrimp Boat Studio in Key West, Florida. Toby sings with Jimmy on a track from License To Chill, called "Piece of Work."
License To Chill is Buffett's first album for RCA Records. The label is headed by veteran record company executive Joe Galante, who explains, "It's about the music for him. He just likes these folks musically and personally." Galante says his label's primary focus is to introduce Jimmy to the Country music masses, but he also feels the album will satisfy Buffett's many fans, who are affectionately known as "Parrotheads."
In late August, Buffett will begin a series of U.S. concerts in support of his new CD. Among the dates are two shows in September with Bruce Springsteen at Boston's Fenway Park.
License To Chill sold 234,000 copies its first week of release. That was enough to debut at Number One on the Billboard 200 chart.
Jimmy included a few cover songs on License To Chill. They were written by Guy Clark, John Hiatt, and the late Jerry Garcia and Hank Williams, Sr. Williams wrote the album's first single, which is heading toward the top of the Country chart, "Hey Good Lookin'," featuring Jimmy Buffett with Clint Black, Kenny Chesney, Alan Jackson, Toby Keith and George Strait.