Buffett tribute band set for Carmel International Arts Festival

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Tim Wright only knew three Jimmy Buffett songs before he got a gig at Bahama Breeze.

“I played there from 2001 to 2005 every week,” Wright said of the Indianapolis restaurant. “They wanted specific songs and gave a list to their musicians, some reggae like (how) UB40 would take pop songs and do it in a reggae style. I learned 30 Jimmy Buffett songs because that was more in my wheelhouse. Greg Anderson, who plays keyboards for us and ukulele, did the same thing. Then (vocalist/guitarist) Steve Greenberg is probably the most informed Jimmy Buffett fan I know. He’s a great fan of Buffett. I thought, ‘Why not go out and do a bunch of Jimmy Buffett songs?’”

Thus, Barometer Soup was formed in early 2021. The Jimmy Buffett tribute band will perform from 7:30-10 p.m. Sept. 24 at the Carmel International Arts Festival.

The band name is derived from a Buffett song and album.

Wright, a member of The Wright Brothers Band since 1972, sings and plays guitar and harmonica. He said Barometer Soup plays about once a month.

“It’s a 12-piece band, so it’s not something you can trot out a whole lot,” Wright said. “These are some of the best musicians in town. Jeff Conrad is an incredible trumpet player. (He) played with Ray Charles at one point in his career. We’ve got Randy Melson on bass, who has played bass with Sandi Patty for the past 20 years. These guys are studio musicians, and they sound like it. Andrew Moore is one of the best steelpan players I’ve ever heard in my life. There is a lot of talent on that stage. We do more of the PG-13 version of Jimmy Buffett. We change a few lyrics here and there because most of the places we play are family-oriented.”

Other members of the band include Bryan Headrick, guitar, and Jeffrey McLaughlin, percussion. McLaughlin’s wife, Sara Scharbrough McLaughlin, sings and plays keyboards. Other vocalists include Catherine Federspiel and Emily Wright Gosser, Wright’s daughter.

Dane Clark, who plays drums, won’t be with the band at the Carmel International Arts Festival because his main gig is as John Mellencamp’s drummer. Mellencamp is performing at Farm Aid the same day in Raleigh, N.C. Clark had played with The Wright Brothers before he joined Mellencamp’s band.

The Wright Brothers, who haven’t played since CarmelFest in 2021, plan to play their final concerts Nov. 25-26 and Dec. 9 at Feinstein’s at Hotel Carmichael in Carmel.

For more, visit barometersoup.rocks.

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