When it comes to replicating a band’s music and vibe at a concert, it seems that Jimmy Buffett and his mellow, beach party vibe might prove a challenge away from the shore.
For League City musician Mark Moss and his Lost Shaker of Salt, however, the operative word was fun, not beach, and Buffett and his music deliver plenty of that for their audiences.
“We have always been amazed by the following that Jimmy Buffett has and has had,” he said. “In understanding Jimmy Buffett, we did quite a bit of research and what he does and what he’s about.”
Moss brings his five-player Lost Shaker of Salt tribute to Waco on Friday for a Waco Hippodrome show aimed at, well, a good time, complete with inflatable beach balls and flamengos, plenty of singing and audience participation. “We make it into a beach party, even in the middle of December,” he said.
Moss started his tribute about three years ago when looking for something different for his cover band 4-Barrel Ramblers, which handles rockabilly, rock ’n’ roll and country. When he came across Buffett, he realized that adding a touch of Caribbean and pop, while sanding down some rock edges, and he’d would be well within 4-Barrel Ramblers’ ability.
Throw in Buffett’s considerable rapport with his audiences, one that has created a legion of fans who call themselves Parrotheads, and Moss knew he’d found what he wanted.
While the mellow party vibe is a major part of Buffett’s four-decade success, Moss points out his considerable songwriting chops, with such standards as “Come Monday,” “It’s 5 O’Clock Somewhere,” “Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes,” “Cheeseburger in Paradise” and Buffett’s iconic “Margaritaville,” from which the tribute band pulls its name.
In studying Buffett concerts, Moss also found that the veteran performer casts a broad musical net in his shows. “He’s not afraid to play anything. There are Hank Williams songs, Van Morrison’s ‘Brown Eyed Girl,’ (The Champs’) ‘Tequila,’” he said. “It all has a Jimmy Buffett feel.”
The audience plays a key role in any Buffett concert, which Moss aims at replicating at Lost Shaker of Salt’s performances. “That’s where he pulls his energy from and we do that as well,” he said. “They’re as much a part of the show as we are. We entertain the audience and many times the audience is entertaining us.”
Moss doesn’t fear letting the Parrotheads down and, in fact, notes that his shows often introduce fans to Buffett’s songs, creating new Parrotheads in the process.
“We’re a tribute band, not an impersonation. We keep the integrity of the music. We dress the part and we play the part,” he said.