Jesse Winchester Tribute on Radio Margaritaville This Friday

This Friday, April 18th, Radio Margaritaville pays tribute to influential singer-songwriter Jesse Winchester. Tune in throughout the day to hear Mac McAnally, Rodney Crowell, Elvis Costello, Bill Flanagan, and more share memories of Jesse and play songs from Jimmy Buffett’s Tribute Album to Jesse “Quiet About It” (Jimmy sings on the track “Gentleman of Leisure”).

Jesse Winchester 1944 – 2014

“You can’t talk about the best songwriters and not include him.” – Bob Dylan
“The word that comes to mind is grace.” – Elvis Costello

Jesse Winchester, a singer’s singer and a songwriter’s songwriter, died of bladder cancer on April 11, 2014, at the age of 69. His voice, by turns ethereal, sly, earthy, and heartbreakingly direct, delivered some of the finest songs of our time over more than four decades of live performance, and twelve original albums, including the forthcoming A Reasonable Amount of Trouble. His songs have been covered by artists as different as Jimmy Buffett, Elvis Costello, Reba McIntyre, Wilson Pickett, Waylon Jennings, Emmylou Harris, Bonnie Raitt and the Everly Brothers.

That wave of activity was brought to an abrupt halt in June 2011, when Jesse was diagnosed with cancer of the esophagus. He underwent surgery and a brief but difficult treatment, which he faced with extraordinary dignity and spirit. Amazingly, in August of that year he was pronounced cancer-free, and he resumed his performing schedule. During his illness, an all-star group of artists recorded an excellent tribute album of Jesse’s songs, entitled Quiet About It. Jimmy Buffett, one of Jesse’s biggest fans, was the driving force behind the tribute.

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International Meal Co. to buy Margaritaville

Brazil-based company is already a franchisee of the chain
Apr 7, 2014

Brazil-based International Meal Co., a franchisee of the Margaritaville casual-dining brand, is buying the 10-unit Margaritaville and two-unit LandShark Bar and Grill chains from Orlando, Fla.-based Margaritaville Enterprises.

Sao Paulo-based International Meal Co. Holdings S.A. owns and operates Margaritaville franchise units in the Puerto Rico and Panama airports and has worked with Margaritaville since 2010. IMC also owns 386 casual and quick-service restaurants in Brazil, the Caribbean and Mexico, emphasizing units in airports, shopping malls and along major highways.

Musician Jimmy Buffett, who initially developed the company around his song “Margaritaville,” said in a statement that his relationship with IMC chief executive Javier Gavilan and chairman Juan Carlos Torres over the past several years set the stage for the deal.

“I only see good things for our friends, our employees and, most of all, our customers happening as a result of this arrangement,” he said. “To paraphrase a song I am a little familiar with, we are taking our attitudes to new latitudes.”

IMC is purchasing the domestic restaurant assets of Margaritaville, including a notable location in the Flamingo hotel in Las Vegas. Exact terms of the deal were not disclosed, and officials from IMC were not available for an interview by press time.

The company said in a statement that it planned to add new locations later this year in the Brazilian cities of Sao Paulo, Brasilia and Viracopos.

“As part of this strategic alliance, IMC will have exclusive rights to develop and own Margaritaville venues in the United States and Latin America,” the company statement said.

“This strategic alliance is about growing a powerful brand, in segments where we have a lot of experience and a proven track record,” Gavilan said in remarks. “Airports will be our first priority to develop this great brand, and we have already found some very exciting opportunities.”

IMC’s flagship brands in Brazil are Frango Assado and Viena. Since 2006, IMC has worked with Advent International, a private-equity firm with more than $24 billion in cumulative capital, to fund its expansion, the company said.

Margaritaville Enterprises, which also includes retail shops, consumer products, casinos, resorts and a SiriusXM radio station, was founded with its first restaurant in Key West, Fla., in 1987. It has Margaritaville units in Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, New Jersey, Nevada, Ohio, South Carolina and Tennessee. Its LandShark units are in Atlantic City, N.J., and Myrtle Beach, S.C.

New Margaritaville locations will open this summer in Pigeon Forge, Tenn., and Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Margaritaville Hotels and/or Casinos are located in: Biloxi, Miss.; Bossier City, La.; Las Vegas; and Pensacola Beach, Fla.

Contact Ron Ruggless at
Follow him on Twitter: @RonRuggless

Stephen Marley’s Fruit of Life Tour Opens in St Petersburg at Jannus Live

Stephen Marley’s Fruit of Life Tour – Opening Night

DSCF0001Jannus Live, downtown St. Petersburg, FL is the stage in which Stephen Marley and his Ghetto Youth International, chose to open their tour. The Fruit of Life Tour.  The open-air venue was the perfect choice. The concert opened with an energy-filled performance by Jo Mersa Marley. Jo Mersa is the second generation offspring of reggae legend, Bob Marley and eldest son of Stephen Marley. In the same tradition as his father and grandfather, Jo Mersa’s music has been deeply influenced by the reggae culture, family and spirituality.

IMG_20140412_204732380Growing up as a youth in an atmosphere filled with conscious musicians, Mersa naturally began exploring his own musical journey. During his impressionable years, the musical youth would observe his father and uncles Damian Marley and Julian Marley produce music at the Lion’s Den studio in Miami, which was the catalyst to Jo becoming an accomplished, self-taught musician, perfecting the craft of how to build his own beats and riddims.

IMG_20140412_205911123The next entertainer to take the stage was Wayne Marshall. For those who don’t know Marshall, he is a Dancehall/Reggae artist from Kingston, Jamaica. Marshall is also a member of the Ghetto Youth International. Marshall brought an amazing level of energy to the stage. Marshall’s newest project, an EP entitled, Tru Colours was released earlier this year. Damian “Jr Gong” Marley produced the album, so it is sure to be a hit.

Concluding this amazing night of Reggae was the headliner, Stephen “Raggamuffin” Marley. Stephen is a five-time Grammy award winner as an artist, producer, and member of Ziggy Marley & The Melody Makers. He is the son of reggae legend Bob Marley and Rita Marley. His 2011 album Revelation Pt. 1 – The Root of Life won the Grammy Award for Best Reggae Album in 2012.The follow-up, Revelation Pt. 2 – The Fruit of Life is due for release in Summer 2014.

IMG_20140412_221842224The second son of Bob and Rita Marley, Stephen was born on April 20, 1972; he began his career as a precocious six-year old singing, dancing and playing percussion with his siblings in the group The Melody Makers whose first single “Children Playing In The Streets” was produced by their father in 1979 and released on Tuff Gong, the label founded by Bob in the late 60s. Just like his older brother Ziggy, Stephen acquired his initial studio skills by watching his father. While still a teenager he assisted in the production of The Melody Makers’ albums including their three Best Reggae Album Grammy winners “Conscious Party” (Virgin Records, 1989) “One Bright Day” (Virgin Records, 1990) and “Fallen Is Babylon” (Elektra Entertainment, 1998). In 1993 Ziggy and Stephen founded Ghetto Youths International as a means of controlling their own music and helping upcoming artists. Stephen’s earliest solo production efforts for Ghetto Youths International includes his late grandmother’s (Cedella Booker) album “My Altar”, followed in 1995 by the Ziggy Marley and The Melody Makers single “Works To Do” and younger brother Damian’s “10,000 Chariots”. Both singles hit the Jamaican charts and generated much excitement surrounding Stephen’s burgeoning production expertise.

Jo Mersa on Facebook

Wayne Marshall on Facebook

Stephen Marley on Facebook

Fruit of Life Tour

Stephen Marley’s music can be purchased here -


Don Middlebrook – Featured Artist of the Month

Starting in 1991, Don Middlebrook and Living Soul began a musical quest up and down the west coast of Michigan with little idea of where it might lead. Always directed by a new song, a new adventure, and an occasional cold beer, what began as fun and frolic has turned into thirteen years of travel and musical bliss. Looking back over those last thirteen years, eight CDs have been recorded and over 150 dates played each year. Airplay has becomecommonplace, like that found at WCSX FM in Detroit, and internet web play has had international activity. Don and the band have performed on national radio with Mitch Albom and G. Gordon Liddy, and the last three years, they have toured and recorded with Greg “Fingers” Taylor, Jimmy Buffett’s harmonica player for twenty-six years. In 2004, Don had two compositions in a Showtime original movie.

Don button2

2 Don Middlebrook CDs for $25.00 (free shipping)

Have you heard the legend of how Don stole Jimmy Buffett’s TV Guide?

While performing at Sloppy Joe’s in Key West, Florida, Saugatuck’s local musician, Don Middlebrook and a friend thought that they would take a moped ride around the island. What started out as an innocent joy ride soon became a hunt to find Jimmy Buffett’s house. Based on local information they had gathered, they thought they were close, but were not convinced. That’s when Don peeked into the mailbox and spotted Jimmy Buffett’s TV Guide. Contradictory stories exist as to what happened next. Don wrote a song to apologize, claiming he found the TV Guide on the ground. Witnesses say that he stole it out of the mailbox.

Years later Don recorded and toured with the most famous Coral Reefer of all, Greg “Fingers” Taylor. Greg claimed that Jimmy was aware of the theft and wanted his TV Guide back. Don’s song of apology claimed that he did not have it. Friends say it is in his house. No charges against Don were ever filed and the existence and/or the whereabouts of the TV Guide that inspired this song have never been validated. Jimmy Buffett has since moved from that home in Key West and now has a P.O. Box. As the song goes, you can always steal from a pirate. Don website is


Jamaica Not Promoting Bob Marley Enough?

bob_marley-9503When most folks think of Jamaica or arguably its most popular cultural export, reggae music, it’d be a safe bet to assume that sooner or later Bob Marley will enter the picture. The Jamaican reggae singer-songwriter has become such an iconic figure in his home country, as well as the world beyond, and in the genre of music of which he is the most recognizable pioneer, that his name is as synonymous with either as Bob Dylan’s name is with 1960s Greenwich Village in New York.

Bob Santelli, director of the Los Angeles-based Grammy Museum, is of the opinion that Jamaica doesn’t do enough to capitalize on its connection to Marley and promote its part and influence on the deceased musician’s legacy. In an interview with The Jamaica Gleaner, Santelli, who was in Kingston last week for a presentation at the Bob Marley Museum, criticized the lack marketing when it came to the Jamaican music legend.

“Although you have great beaches, when people hear of Jamaica, the first thing that comes to mind is not the beaches, it’s Bob Marley and reggae music,” he said. “Jamaica has such a rich music culture and this country needs to promote that more. You have such a wealth of music tradition and you are not promoting it enough.”

Santelli visited Kingston last week because the Bob Marley Museum, which is set up inside the former residence of Marley, was named the first official affiliate of the Grammy Museum. The general manager of the Bob Marley Museum, Marie Bruce, feels the move will only help further develop tourism in the area, especially now with the forthcoming arrival of some new Bob Marley artifacts from its new American partner.

“It is now about promotion and marketing and spreading the word. In fact the word has begun spreading already through our broadcasts on social media,” Bruce said.

Santelli feels positive about the new partnership as well, especially in regards to its potential for a tourism boost:

“The appreciation for Bob Marley outside of Jamaica has remained strong despite him not being with us for a very long time. So this house and what it can mean as a museum can be an anchor for cultural tourism in Jamaica.”

Plans for Bob Marley’s 70th birthday next year were also part of the reason Santelli made the trip to Jamaica. Talking again to The Jamaica Gleaner, he promised more details later in the year via a press release but did say that they “celebrate the relationship between the Grammy Museum and the Bob Marley Museum”. As part of the celebrations, a few of the interactive displays from the Los Angeles Museum will be transferred to its new Kingston counterpart.

“People are going to now learn what a reggae beat is. We have interactive drums and guitars that will take you inside of the music, even if you have never played drums before you are going to now be able to understand it,” he said. “When young people go through here, instead of just hearing the story of Bob Marley, they’re going to understand what made his music so great and that’s what’s going to be fun. The adults will love it but the kids will get it right away.”

Bob Marley’s status as a cultural icon and global symbol have only grown since the singer’s death from cancer in 1981, to the point that local parks are named after him and police still blame him for increasing marijuana use. The Grammy Museum plans to run its celebrations for Marley’s birthday next year the same week as the 57th Annual Grammy Awards, which will air February 8th, 2015. Bob Marley’s 70th birthday would have been two days earlier, on the 6th of February.


‘Iron Lion Zion’ from Santana’s ‘Corazon’ album features Ziggy Marley

On Wednesday Santana released his third single, now available on iTunes, from his upcoming album “Corazon” out May 6. “Iron Lion Zion” was originally performed by Bob Marley & the Wailers and released in 1992, 10 years after his death.

Now in 2014 his son Ziggy Marley is Santana’s featured guest artist, along with the Colombian funk trio ChocQuib Town.

Ziggy Marley has copped a Daytime Emmy for a song featured on a children's program which airs in the U.S. and Britain.This extraordinary remake remains true to the 1970s upbeat rhythm and tempo in the original, yet you can distinctly hear Carlos Santana’s unique style of playing that’s undeniable. Carlos does a fine job of replacing the saxophone solo heard in the ‘70s version with his own brilliant guitar.

Bob Marley wrote “Iron Lion Zion” sometime in 1973 or 1974. It ended up becoming an incomplete track, until it was later discovered when someone played a cassette that happened to have this song on it. In the lyrics it clearly reflects his Rastafarian beliefs.

Zion refers to the promised land of Ethiopia. Lion is the symbol on the Ethiopian flag, and Haile Selassie I, a former Ethiopian emperor the Rastas regard as their Messiah.

Original Source – LINK

Bluebird Cafe to Close in June, Will Become Jimmy Buffett’s Cheeseburger in Paradise

While speculation abounds as to whether or not ABC will renew Nashville for a third season, it appears the show’s countrified answer to The Peach Pit (i.e., The Bluebird Cafe) will not see the end of 2014. The landmark Green Hills singer-songwriter sanctuary will shut its doors at 4104 Hillsboro Pike for good at the end of June.

According to an email the Scene received from Bluebird communications director Louis Friend, the bar/restaurant’s landlord, Dick Johnson, has decided not renew its lease, which expires in June. That leaves the famed and fairly prestigious haunt without a home. Sources behind the deal tell the Scenethat the space will house a Nashville location for Jimmy Buffett’s Cheeseburger in Paradise chain.

The Bluebird Cafe as replicated on the set of ABCs Nashville

  • The Bluebird Cafe as replicated on the set of ABC’s ‘Nashville’

The 90-seat Bluebird Cafe opened in a Green Hills strip mall in 1982. Since then, the club has been a beacon of mope and melody for struggling and established songwriters alike to shed and showcase new tunes in an intimate, communal dinner-theater setting, and today’s news comes as a shock to many of Music City’s tunesmiths. In addition to being a longtime haunt for established singers and songwriters like Pam Tillis and Don Schlitz (“The Gambler”), acts ranging from Taylor Swift to an early incarnation of Kings of Leon were discovered at the club. “Say it ain’t so!” Tillis tweeted at the club upon hearing the news.


The Bluebird was also the setting for director Peter Bogdanovich’s 1993 country tinged rom-com The Thing Called Love, which starred Samantha Mathis and River Phoenix as Hillsboro-pavement-pounding songsters in love. More recently, the club has been a fixture on the ABC series Nashville, where many of the show’s characters work, congregate and/or perform. The show’s production crew built a true-to-scale replica of the club on a sound stage on the north end of town.

“As a conservative, I support Dick Johnson’s right as a landlord and small business property owner to maximize the capital potential of his assets,” Rusty “Nails” Ottersby — a songsmith who’s penned cuts for Hank Williams Jr. and Kacey Musgraves — told the Scene via phone. “But as a working Nashville songwriter and supporter of small businesses like The Bluebird, I think this is just totally fucked.”

One of 19 Cheeseburger in Paradise locations nationwide

  • One of 19 Cheeseburger in Paradise locations nationwide

Adding insult to injury for many Nashvillians and Music Row purists is the fact that the The Bluebird’s hallowed ground will become simply another nationwide venue for bro-country OG Jimmy Buffett to hawk cheeseburgers. Nashville will be Cheeseburger in Paradise’s 20th location, joining cities spanning from Florida to Hawaii.

“We’ve always known Jimmy was kind of an asshole,” Nashville Mayor Karl Dean, who opened Buffett’s 2010 show at Bridgestone Arena, said in a statement. “But we at least thought he respected Nashville’s rich country heritage and tradition of songwriting. Apparently he does not.”

“While we’re very sad to see The Bluebird go, we’re thrilled that Jimmy Buffett has decided to expand its brand in Nashville,” Nashville Convention and Visitors Bureau honcho Butch Spyridon said in a release. Buffett’s other chain, Margaritaville, opened a downtown location on Lower Broad in 2010.

“Yeah, I’ve never been to that place,” Black Keys drummer Patrick Carney, talking about The Bluebird, told The Tennessean. “But I do think the coconut shrimp and spin dip apps at Margaritaville are pretty righteous. Burgers are good, too.”

Louis Friend says that, while The Bluebird’s owners haven’t figured out their plans just yet, they’d like to relocate and reopen in Nashville, and are potentially considering new locations in Five Points and Opry Mills. Friend says a move to Austin might be in the cards as well. “We’ll just have to see,” he says. “Things haven’t been this quiet in here since we had to shush Steven Tyler.”

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Jimmy Buffett to perform at Greenbrier Classic

From Jimmy Buffett will perform in concert during this year’s Greenbrier Classic Golf Tournament.

Officials of the PGA Tour event said Tuesday that Maroon 5 will perform on July 4 at the State Fair of West Virginia’s amphitheater in Fairlea the day after the tournament begins at the resort in White Sulphur Springs.

Buffett will perform on July 5 (ticket information)

The $60 price of weekly tournament badges includes admission to one of the concerts. Other weekly badges that allow for admission to both concerts start at $179, which is $10 higher than last year.

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Jimmy Buffett to perform at Greenbrier Classic

From Jimmy Buffett will perform in concert during this year’s Greenbrier Classic Golf Tournament.

Officials of the PGA Tour event said Tuesday that Maroon 5 will perform on July 4 at the State Fair of West Virginia’s amphitheater in Fairlea the day after the tournament begins at the resort in White Sulphur Springs.

Buffett will perform on July 5 (ticket information)

The $60 price of weekly tournament badges includes admission to one of the concerts. Other weekly badges that allow for admission to both concerts start at $179, which is $10 higher than last year.

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