Jimmy Buffett the Face of This Year's Jazz Fest? Really?
I'm late to this news, but ... a young Jimmy Buffett is the face of this year's New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival poster?
Really? Really? Who's next, Bon Jovi?
I'm no Jimmy Buffett hater, although I believe the guy is vastly overrated. At the start of his career, he turned in some interesting, idiosyncratic singer-songwriter work. But for several decades he's largely traded in artistic integrity for a series of by-the-numbers novelty tunes and a cottage industry built around his bogus just-kicking-it-in-Key West shtick.
And, you know, he's NOT EVEN FROM NEW ORLEANS OR LOUISIANA. He was born in Mississippi, grew up in Alabama, went to college in those two states, started his musical career in Nashville, busked for New Orleans tourists, and then moved to Key West.
Previous poster subjects: Louis Prima (2010); Allen Toussaint (2009); Irma Thomas (2008); Jerry Lee Lewis (2007); Fats Domino (2006); Buddy Bolden (2005); Harry Connick, Jr. (2004).
You get the picture: Jazz Fest posters traditionally have been reserved for New Orleans- or Louisiana-identified artists known for superb musicianship and their huge influence on music of the region of the world. We're talking major, revered jazz, blues, R&B, soul, zydeco, cajun, and gospel artists.
Then there's Buffett, who's being honored for ... selling lots of records, getting the Parrothead crowds to come to Jazz Fest, and being pals with the powers that be?