JAMMIN’ JOE BENNETT

Joe and I have been acquainted for a few years now, but just recently were able to sit down and chat for an interview. This took place in a bar across the street from Margaritaville in New Orleans, where Joe plays at least a couple of times a week.

It was great to chat with the singer/ songwriter of “Beach in a Bottle” and “I Need a Beach.”

A native of Alabama, Joe grew up in a musical family and played football in high school, but he left for New Orleans as soon as he could after school to play music. He spent a decade in Los Angeles, then moved back to the Big Easy. He’s stayed there, other than spending one year in Florida and one year in Texas. I was lucky enough to meet him in Port Aransas, Texas and even have him sing at my home during a Parrot Heads of Port Aransas event.

Speaking of Parrot Heads, they have been good to Joe. While he was originally playing all original music (he described it as somewhere between the Romantics and Elvis Costello), he eventually began to perform more covers of songs. He talked his way over the phone into a job playing at Tropical Isle and was encouraged to learn more Jimmy Buffett songs. He eventually decided to record a “Jimmy Buffett-sounding” CD…. hello, Trop Rock! He mailed a copy of that recording, Fifty Dollar Treasure Map, to every Parrot Head Club in the country at that time. He credits the Pittsburg, Pennsylvania PHC for buying a great deal of his CDs.

I asked him about another CD title, Pirates of the Vieux Carre, and he told me he had an old song called “Vampires of the Vieux Carre.” The word “pirate” is much more Parrot Head-friendly, so he changed it for the title of the CD. Joe is writing a book about his life, so far; and those of you who know this sweet songwriter will join me in wishing him the best of luck!

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