Parrotheads will take over the Square with Jimmy Buffett tribute

It’s going to be “Five O’Clock Somewhere” — specifically, Lodi — when Garratt Wilkin & The Parrotheads bring the Gulf and western sound of Jimmy Buffett to Hutchins Street Square. The tribute band is set to play at the Square on Jan. 27. (David R. Jones/Courtesy photograph)

Grab your lei, throw on your favorite island gear and prepare for a trip to Margaritaville when Garratt Wilkin & The Parrotheads perform the musical stylings of Jimmy Buffett on Jan. 27.

The show will feature several of Buffet’s hits including “Come Monday,” “Margaritaville,” “It’s Five O’ Clock Somewhere,” and “Cheeseburger in Paradise.”

“We’re going to kind of try to get everybody out of the winter blues and give them a little ray of sunshine from the tropical music that we play, which is Jimmy’s,” Garratt Wilkin said. “We try to cover all of the popular songs that Jimmy does.”

The tribute show doesn’t focus solely on Buffett’s most recent hits. Wilkin and his bandmates also play tunes from Buffett’s early days in Key West, Fla.

“We have probably 75 to 80 songs that we pick from,” WIlkin said. “We can only do about 30 to 35 in a show.”

The band is planning to serve up a little breath of tropical summer with their tribute show. To that end, tropical drinks (complete with paper umbrella) — along with beer, wine and cocktails — will be available for purchase for guests who want to really get in the Margaritaville spirit, thanks to the Lodi Elks. The bar will be open for 45 minutes before the start of the show, and again during intermission.

Though he was born in Pascagoula, Mississippi, Buffett’s music is known for its island flare, often described as a “Gulf and Western” musical style. Buffett himself described it as “drunken Caribbean rock ‘n’ roll” on his 1978 live album, “You Had To Be There.”

Wilkin hopes those who attend the show will enjoy the tribute band’s spin on that iconic music.

“I hope they get a sense of our band and the way that we do Jimmy Buffett music, because we do it just a little bit different than him,” Wilkin said. “It’s not a whole lot different. It’s the same basic feel, but we put our own little twist on it, kind of like he does when he records other people’s songs. I hope they just come away with the same kind of experience as going to a Jimmy Buffett concert.”

Garratt Wilkin & The Parrotheads have been jamming together for 20 years, and have performed at events, theaters and venues all across the country.

“We’ve all been friends for a long time, and it’s great to still be able to go out and perform and do our show for people and see them enjoy it when we play for them,” Wilkin said.

The Parrotheads have a reputation as the best Buffett tribute show in the country, said John Zurflueh of Starbrite Entertainment, the concert’s organizer.

The band is made up of seven members, including two keyboard players, a percussionist and conga player, two guitar players who also sing vocals, a drummer and Wilkin, who is also on vocals and plays the guitar.

“We’re all Jimmy Buffett fans and that’s what a ‘Parrothead’ is,” Wilkin said.

He has released more than 40 albums and some have gone gold, platinum and even triple platinum. In addition to his own music, he’s seen success as a movie soundtrack composer, restaurant owner and businessman.

“We’ve been lucky to get out and play his music. It never gets tiring. He has a repertoire to pick from which is huge,” Wilkin said.

Lodi Living Editor Kyla Cathey contributed to this report.

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