Jul 6, 2010 4:17 PM by Melissa Canone

Jimmy Buffett Is Just Another Mad Gulf Coast Native

ORANGE BEACH, Ala. (AP) - Singer Jimmy Buffett is just another
mad Gulf Coast native when it comes to the Deepwater Horizon oil
spill, but with an exception: He's got millions of fans and a way
to help lift spirits over the seemingly endless crisis.
Buffett and his Coral Reefer Band will play Sunday on the beach
in Gulf Shores, Ala., which has been sporadically hit by oil for
weeks. The show already has been postponed once because of
Hurricane Alex, and Buffett is hoping bad weather lurking in the
Gulf doesn't create problems this weekend.
Known for laid-back tunes like "Margaritaville" and
"Cheeseburger in Paradise," Buffett told The Associated Press in
an interview Tuesday that it's perfectly normal for people to be
mad when they see oil washing up on beaches and marshes.
"If you're born and raised on the Gulf Coast and it's kind of
in you, and you don't feel anger and rage initially over what's
going on down there, I think you're a hypocrite," he said in a
telephone interview from New York. "That's the way I felt. Now,
what you do with that is a big question."
Buffett said a beachfront concert seemed like the right thing to
do after talking to people on the coast.
"People were going, `What are you going to do about things?' I
mean, hell, I can't stick my finger in that hole. Everybody wishes
they could," said Buffett.
"But there's a huge amount of frustration and probably it will
boil over in summertime anger, and I know what I've done for years
is entertain. What I'm best at is two hours of escapism for people
that have to go back and either live jobs that they don't like or
whatever," he said. "It's that Mardi Gras mentality."
Born in Mississippi and raised in Alabama, Buffett has lived all
over the Gulf Coast. He said memories of the region are laced
through his music.
"I have pretty much surrounded myself with Gulf Coast
influences for a long time, and ... if you listen to those songs, I
think it's pretty much in there," said Buffett, 63.
Buffett, a supporter of President Barack Obama, said the roots
of the spill lie with the administration of former President George
Bush, which was often criticized for being too cozy with the
petroleum industry.
"To me it was more about eight years of bad policy before
(Obama) got there that let this happen. It was Dracula running the
blood bank in terms of oil and leases," he said. "I think that
has more to do with it than how the president reacted to it."
The beach concert on Sunday will also feature Jesse Winchester
and Allen Toussaint, who also were in the original lineup. Country
singers Kenny Chesney and Zac Brown had to drop out because of
prior commitments. Buffett said he is still making phone calls
trying to add additional acts for Sunday, but he's not sure of the
final roster.


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