Jimmy Buffett’s ‘Buried Treasure’ is a booty worth having (CD review)

November 29, 2017 GMT

Jimmy Buffett’s ‘Buried Treasure’ is a booty worth having (CD review)

CLEVELAND, Ohio – Nobody is actually born a star. It takes time, effort and, in those time-worn words of yore, “practice, practice, practice.″

Jimmy Buffett today is one of the biggest stars on the planet. If he were to sing a line about gall bladder surgery and follow it with “Fins to the left, fins to the right,″ it’d be a million-seller.

But it wasn’t always that way. Buffett paid some serious dues after his brief stint as a music writer for Billboard (see, this isn’t that easy a gig, y’all!). And it shows up in “Buried Treasure: Volume One,″ a true treasure trove of songs recorded in Alabama (mostly) and Nashville.


But what also shows up in this collection is just where this all would end. Covers of songs by Gordon Lightfoot (“Don’t Bring Me Candy″) and the Mamas and Papas (“California Dreamin’”) show some serious chops-in-the-making.

The tapes of these old recordings were discovered almost by accident, just as any treasure hunter finds the hidden booty – in a closet of a recording studio that had long gone undisturbed.

Aptly named, “Buried Treasure″ features 11 tracks of unreleased and rare acoustic and live versions of music. But even better, it features stories told by Buffett himself of those days, adorned only slightly by the patina of nostalgia. Honesty about his songwriting prowess – or lack thereof – and admissions of his almost transparent influences (nowhere as evident as on “Rickety Lane,″ a Beatlesesque tune) make this a special addition for any true Buffett fan.

The deluxe edition comes with a 40-page book of never-seen photos and a documentary DVD, but really, the plain Jane edition is just fine. It boasts the liner notes – large enough to actually read! – and some of those same photos of Buffett in his Glen Campbell/Beach Boys haircut days.

Best of all, it’s Volume One, meaning a Volume Two has to be in the works! Grade: B+

Buried Treasure: Volume One Jimmy Buffett Mailboat Records