Toby Keith talks about Buffett and his new album

Toby Keith talked about Jimmy Buffett in an interview at As Keith told in a phone interview last week, “Songwriting has always been important to me.” Which is an understatement; while many Nashville superstars rely heavily on outside material, Keith takes a few collaborators on a yearly songwriting retreat, and also writes all year long.

Tell me about “Rum is the Reason.” Before I read anything about the album I listened to it, and at during that song, I thought, “This sounds like Jimmy Buffett.” And then at the end of the song, you say, “C’mon, Coral Reefers!”

We had this idea that rum is the reason that pirates didn’t rule the world. So I said, “If pirates are known for rum, who would be known for whiskey?” Whiskey comes from Tennessee, so I thought, “Davy Crockett.” And then the song started falling together. Tequila and Poncho Villa. Hitler drank beer, and Stalin probably drank some kind of vodka. And so we started having fun with it, and we kept coming back to the idea that rum is the reason that pirates didn’t rule the world. And it had that Caribbean sound to it. And I called Mac McAnally, and he’s Jimmy Buffett’s right hand man [he’s a member of Buffett’s Coral Reefer Band]. I said, “Mac, come down and bring the Coral Reefers.” And he turned the Reefers loose, and put on the real steel drums, I didn’t want to have a synthesized steel drum from a keyboard, so we bought the real cats in.

And then you got Buffett himself on another song, “Sailboat for Sale.” Are you friends with him?

My bucket list was Roger Miller, Haggard, Willie Nelson and Jimmy Buffett. Well, Roger had passed away before I got to Nashville. But I did work with Willie, we had a big #1 hit with “Beer for My Horses.” I got to record a couple of times with Hag. I wrote a song that Merle recorded on his album. But I thought, “At some point, I gotta meet Buffett.” At some point I met him, we hit it off. My two biggest albums were recorded at his studio in Key West. As time went on, we had dinner a couple of times, and then he called me one day and said “I’ve got this song called ‘Too Drunk to Karaoke,’ and I want you to sing on it.” So we did that. And then I sent him “Sailboat for Sale,” and I said, “If you want to sing on it, pick out a part,” and he did. It’s kind of cool, I’ve checked off those boxes [ on the bucket list].

How did Buffett like “Rum is the Reason?”

He said, he wish he’d written it! And he’s as good as it gets.

Buffett appears on Toby Keith’s new album

Jimmy Buffett does a duet with Toby Keith on the song “Sailboat for Sale” on Keith’s new album “35 mph Town”. The album is now available at and you can listen to it at iTunes. Buffett and Keith previously teamed up for the song “Too Drunk to Karaoke” from the album “Songs From St. Somewhere”.

From Billboard: “Toby Keith Shows Off New Tricks (and Jimmy Buffett) on ‘35 mph Town’: Album Review

Radio hits by country’s leading men have been criticized for relying on the usual tropes of trucks, pretty girls and six-packs. While Toby Keith certainly has drawn from these subjects during his 20-year career, his 18th studio LP, 35 mph Town, bypasses the cliches and tones down his sometimes overbearing bravado. There’s real depth on “What She Left Behind,” about an ex’s “bottle of perfume left for dead” on his bedside table. But Keith doesn’t sacrifice any bonhomie: “Rum Is the Reason,” a steel-drummed tale about why pirates never ruled the world, sounds like a good Jimmy Buffett song for a reason — the singer’s Coral Reefer Band provides backing. (Buffett himself appears on the wistful “Sailboat for Sale.”)

Buffett appears on Judy Collins new album

Singer Judy Collins released an album of duets entitled “Strangers Again” and Jimmy Buffett sings on the track “Someday Soon”.

In an interview in Digital Journal, Collins said the title track “Strangers Again” started it all for this project. “Then, I was working with Don McLean and I told him that I wanted to do a duets album, and he told me that he wanted to sing ‘Send In The Clowns’ with me. Then, I ran into Jimmy Buffett in the summer, and he said he wanted to sing ‘Someday Soon’ with me, and those three songs had me going,” she said.

The album is available at and iTunes.

Buffett appears in Ripple video

Jimmy Buffett appears in the Grateful Dead’s 50th anniversary video “Ripple”. The Grateful Dead played its final show on July 5th. Playing for Change has released a video featuring an international cast of musicians — some well-known, some not — playing “Ripple”, a song from the great 1970 album American Beauty. The new clip features appearances by Bill Kreutzmann, Jimmy Buffett, David Crosby, David Hidalgo of Los Lobos.

“Ripple” is in support of the Playing For Change Foundation’s music schools and programs for children worldwide and we need your help. Watch the video and then let’s turn that inspiration we all share into something bigger. Join the “Ripple Effect” campaign so we can all leave the world better than we found it, one heart and one song at a time. As Jerry Garcia said, “Let there be songs to fill the air…”


Keith Sykes Goes Crowd Funding

Keith Sykes, former Coral Reefer, writer of “The Coast Of Marseilles” and co-writer with Buffett of “Volcano”, is currently in the middle of a Kickstarter Campaign. As you may know, Kickstarter is one of several “crowd funding” platforms on the web that allows independent artists to reach out to fans for funding everything from full CD projects, videos, promotional campaigns, to songbooks and handmade instruments, to almost anything you can imagine.

Kickstarter asks the creators to set a minimum goal amount and a time limit. If the goal isn’t reached in the amount of time stated, then the creators don’t receive any of the pledged money and, of course the backers are not billed for their pledges. Sykes has 21 days (as of April 9th) to reach his stated goal of $25,000.

Sykes will be recording songs he’s written with the Trop Rock audience in mind. “Little Beach Town”, along with three others, are the top contenders for singles. Go to to check out Sykes’ page. Whether it’s making a pledge or spreading the word, Sykes says any help will be greatly appreciated.