Country Throwback: Zac Brown, Jimmy Buffett Bring Out Island Vibes in 2010 CMT Performance

by Clayton Edwards

In 2010 pairing Zac Brown with Jimmy Buffett just made sense. Buffett is the mayor of Margaritaville. He has the beach in his soul and seawater in his veins. The Zac Brown Band had a huge hit with “Toes”, an ode to drinking on the beach. They’re a multigenerational musical match made in heaven.

With this in mind, CMT brought Brown and Buffett together for an episode of CMT Crossroads. During the show, they worked through hits from both performers. One of the coolest parts of the show was the performance of “Son of a Son of a Sailor.”

The first part of the video is a behind the scenes look at Jimmy Buffett and Zac Brown. In it, Buffett plays the first verse as Zac Brown watches intently. If you’re a musician or have spent any time around musicians, you have seen the expression on Brown’s face before. He’s sitting there soaking what Buffett is playing and trying to commit it to memory. It’s an interesting look behind the curtain to see a fraction of what goes into one of these shows.

As the song moves into the chorus, the video cuts to footage from the live performance. The pair work great together. Their voices go together like rum and coconut. Zac Brown and Jimmy Buffett don’t need an elaborate and gimmicky stage full of tiki torches and grass huts to bring on the island vibes. Between the two stars and the backing band, they’re able to paint a sonic picture of the tropics. By the end of the tune, just about anyone with ears is going to be longing for warmer weather and craving the smell of the ocean.

Zac Brown’s Other Ventures

In 2019, Zac Brown released his solo pop album “The Controversy” in a bid to show that he was more than a country star. A couple of years before that Brown formed Sir Rosevelt with Niko Moon and Ben Simonetti. Brown described it as an electronic dance group. They released one album. Honestly, it’s not bad. Personally, when I hear “electronic dance,” I think of things like dubstep or drum and bass. Sir Rosevelt, though was much more radio-friendly. In fact, “Something Bout You,” the third single from their album would fit pretty well on country radio today.

It’s an upbeat love song with electronic drums, a snap track, and samples of acoustic guitars. That sound combined with the reverent lyrics would allow it to sit comfortably alongside the new trend of boyfriend country. Maybe Zac Brown should think about re-releasing the track. It would probably be a hit.