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I heard my first Jimmy Buffett song way back in high school. His music became the soundtrack to my wayward and foolish college days. His tunes were funny and smart; sweet and nostalgic. So I taught myself the few chords required and learned how to do it. I played those songs at some open mic nights and, amazingly, got a few gigs. Then a few more. I bought some Hawaiian shirts. I got a partner to play with me. We got pretty busy, pretty fast.
Soon enough, there was a band, a Corona beer sponsorship, festivals, parties at the annual Buffett concerts, many, many more gigs and a week playing at Margaritaville in Key West.
The Tom Carey Band was in business from 1992 until 2004. I never meant it to be a Buffett Tribute band because when we started there was no such thing! By the time we wrapped it up it seems like there were hundreds.
In February of this year, my wife and I happened to be in Key West taking a morning stroll down Eaton Street. A line was forming outside the 300 seat Key West Theater. It turns out the man himself was putting on a show that Monday for locals only. I stood in line and got two seats. He played many of the songs I first heard on those early records. And told lots of stories about old Key West. It was pretty darn cool.
I hope to replicate the flavor of that performance at Hey Nonny. Songs from those early records like “Cuban Crime Of Passion” and “Woman Going Crazy On Caroline Street” and “He Went To Paris.” I plan to play “Margaritaville” too, of course, but probably not “Fins” or “Cheeseburger.” I think I’ll leave that for others.
Joining me will be John Forrest, Bean Weng and Tom O’Brien from Heartache Tonight. It should be a fun evening of acoustic music and storytelling. No beachballs or coconut bras, though I will be breaking out one of those Hawaiian shirts. Just for old times sake.