ShareThis Page

Jimmy Buffett keeps it comfy on new album

| Saturday, Aug. 24, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

‘Songs From St. Somewhere'

Jimmy Buffett (Mailboat)

In his first studio recording of new material in years, Jimmy Buffett doesn't stray far from his comfort zone. But when you blend bar shout-alongs, story songs and ballads with southern and tropical influences and the occasional side trip into silliness as well as he and his Coral Reefer Band cohorts do, why should that be a problem? Some of the songs are real or imagined personal history: “Too Drunk to Karaoke (with Toby Keith),” Buffett said in concert, did come about from an incident in his life, while “Rue de la Guitare” — with pedal steel guitar and steel drums subbing for accordion — is about a stroll through Paris. Some of the songs you could even dance to. But the song that sounds like it should be Buffett's autobiography, the wistful “Oldest Surfer on the Beach,” was written by Mark Knopfler, who also plays guitar. Perhaps the song that best fits the Parrothead mission statement is “Somethin' ‘Bout a Boat,” with its reminder that the simple things — a boat, a guitar or a dog — can give comfort and hope. It is a song that sticks in your head. The album was produced by longtime Coral Reefers Mac McAnally and Michael Utley, and they know that the fans want to hear Buffett sing, and they keep the vocals clean and upfront, but not to the detriment of the instruments. It's nice to hear an album with nothing muddy but maybe a reference to the beach.

— Vaunda Bonnett

‘Guided Tour'

The New Gary Burton Quartet (Mack Avenue)

Gary Burton is celebrating his 70th birthday with an album that shows age simply is a way of advancing wisdom. Burton is one of the best vibraphonists in music, and his work would be accepted purely for those skills. But he knows music has to grow. The music on this album thrives because it makes use of the talent of his current band. He does not try to make it sound like when he had Pat Metheny or Larry Coryell with him. No, the lighter playing of guitarist Julian Lage matched with the powerful but controlled drumming of Antonio Sanchez creates a new sound. The group moves from a lovely “Once Upon a Summertime” to a driving “The Look Out” with a gentle “Remembering Tano” in between. One of the most amusing numbers is “Monk Fish,” which has a melodic hint of the music of Thelonious Monk but a newer rhythm churned out by Sanchez and bassist Scott Colley. Burton and the band will be at the Manchester Craftsmen's Guild on the North Side at 7 and 9:30 p.m. Oct. 5.

— Bob Karlovits

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.