Buffett tribute band gear up for Carmel International Arts Festival

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

“I played there from 2001 to 2005 every week,” Wright said of the Indianapolis restaurant. “They wanted specific songs and gave their musicians a list, some reggae like (how) UB40 would take pop songs and do it in a reggae style. I learned 30 Jimmy Buffett songs because it was more in my wheelhouse. Greg Anderson, who plays keyboards for us and ukulele, did the same. So (singer/guitarist) Steve Greenberg is probably the most knowledgeable Jimmy Buffett fan I know. He’s a huge Buffett fan. 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 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. on September 24 at the Carmel International Arts Festival.

The name of the group is derived from a song and an album by Buffett.

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 repeat a lot,” Wright said. “They are some of the best musicians in town. Jeff Conrad is an incredible trumpeter. (He) played with Ray Charles at one point in his career. We have 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 that. Andrew Moore is one of the best steelpan players I have ever heard in my life. There is a lot of talent on this scene. We’re doing 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 band members include Bryan Headrick, guitar, and Jeffrey McLaughlin, percussion. McLaughlin’s wife, Sara Scharbrough McLaughlin, sings and plays keyboards. Other singers 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 lead gig is drummer John Mellencamp. Mellencamp performs at Farm Aid on the same day in Raleigh, North Carolina. Clark had played with the Wright Brothers before joining Mellencamp’s band.

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

To learn more, visit barometersoup.rocks.

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