Busking Out: Becoming Jimmy Buffett
by Garland Robinette
The world wouldn't have Jimmy if Jimmy hadn't had New Orleans.
Emerging musicians have drifted to New Orleans from near and far for over a century, earning a living on its streets as they hone their craft – a practice called busking. And while jazz may be the big attraction, musical styles, like so many things, blur in the gumbo of New Orleans. Many such venturers go unnoticed, but all those who play here in their formative years invariably carry a dash of roux within them forever. That Jimmy Buffett released a tune called I Will Play for Gumbo in 1999 – more than three decades after he first came to New Orleans as a budding troubadour – proves the point.