Buffett Joins Eli Young Band for ‘Saltwater Gospel’

From People Magazine: Jimmy Buffett Joins Eli Young Band for ‘Saltwater Gospel’ Collab: ‘I Said Yes Immediately’

The Eli Young Band always thought their 2016 single “Saltwater Gospel” felt like a Jimmy Buffett-inspired track. Three years later, Buffett is singing it alongside them!

On Friday, the country band — comprising Mike Eli, James Young, Jon Jones and Chris Thompson — dropped the “Fins Up” version of “Saltwater Gospel,” featuring a verse from Buffett himself.

“To have Jimmy Buffett now sing on it was just surreal,” Young tells PEOPLE exclusively. “The ocean has always been his muse and for him to grace us on this project has been amazing. When I heard him tag ‘A Pirate Looks at 40’ at the end, it raised the hairs on my arm. “

Buffett, 73, loved the song since it first came out — and when asked to join the track, he agreed without hesitation.

“When (producer and collaborator) Mac McAnally called me a few weeks ago and said there was an idea for me to sing with the Eli Young Band, I said yes immediately,” Buffett said. “I love the band. I love the fact that they have great roots in Denton, Texas and [University of North Texas] and I can’t wait to get on the road one day and play it with them.”

“What a humble, down-to-earth and kind guy!” Young said. “Never in a million years would I have thought I’d be sitting in my living room chatting it up with Jimmy Buffett. I was a little nervous to be honest, because we are all big fans.”

Jimmy Buffett on CBS Sunday Morning

From CBS.com: Jimmy Buffett: “Everybody needs to take a little breath”

For any of the past 40 summers, you could find Jimmy Buffett standing on a stage somewhere playing with his Coral Reefer Band.

Of course this year, he’s stuck at home, as high and dry as the rest of us.

Correspondent Tracy Smith asked, “You’ve been talking about taking a summer off for, what, 40 years now?”

“Yeah. This isn’t quite what I had in mind, Tracy!” he laughed “But you know, what’s that – ‘Make lemonade outta lemons’? The interesting thing is, with all of the tragedy and the serious things that are goin’ on, I’m having to deal with it and I talked to a lot of the people, you find some silver linings in all this. And that’s what we’re doing, like, for family and for band.”

He’s been using some of his time in quarantine doing online concerts, often for first responders.

“You know, historically you think about it, in times like this you still have to have a little fun,” Buffett said. “You still have to have a rest from what’s going on. And I knew that that was the case, because a lot of healthcare workers and doctors I’ve known for a long time have used my music in operating rooms and emergency rooms to calm down.”

And lately he’s been able to share new music:  His just-released album, “Life on the Flip Side,” is already getting rave reviews, for its good-time anthems, and songs like this:   

Well, we could use some quiet
We could use a little calm
Find the good in everybody
Share that “one love” balm
Watch the predators and prey
Swim along side by side
‘Neath the blue sky and mangroves
Down at slack tide
 “Slack Tide” by Jimmy Buffett

A slack tide is that moment just before the tide turns, when the water is calm and the world seems to take a beat,” Buffett said.

“There’s something about the natural process of the world and the universe that allows you the time to kind of take a breath,” he said. “And it seems that a lot of people aren’t doing that now. … It’s not, ‘You’ve got to solve every problem,’ or like everything everybody else does, but everybody needs to take a little breath. And that’s one of the underlying kind of messages in these songs.”

The song was written well before the current political storm, but it seems all the more appropriate now. Buffet performed his song “Slack Tide,” for the first time in public, for Tracy Smith and our viewers. “I thought that’d be a good one for ‘Sunday Morning’!” he laughed.