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Jimmy Buffet Helps A Reggae Artist

Jimmy Buffett must have the memory of an elephant - to go along with his huge philanthropic heart.

When he plays Texas - and he always plays Texas - he thanks the audience for keeping him alive when he was just a kid, trying to eek out a living playing the coffee house circuit and bars up and down Greenville Avenue in Dallas.

He records songs by other artists who were in the trenches with him during the lean years, including Willis Alan Ramsey, Guy Clark and Jesse Winchester. He's given up and coming songwriters a chance, too, like playing Lyle Lovett's "If I Had A Boat" in concerts.

Even though he will never again have to worry where his next meal is coming from, Buffett lends his name to a large number of charitable causes. He asks fans, called Parrotheads, to "Party with a Purpose" when they tailgate. The Frisco Feeding Frenzy has rasied tens of thousands of dollars ... and we're just one drop in the bucket during concert season.

When the his beloved Gulf of Mexico was nearly ruined by the BP oil spill, Buffett hosted a free concert to help the recovery efforts. His name is always in the New York City news, linked to worthy causes. He's famous for sneaking into small bars to perform surprise sets.

Now, he's lending a hand to a young reggae artist named Mishka who once brought him coffee and croissants during a trip to the islands.

Mishka was born in Bermuda and raised in the Caribbean.  His new EP, Ocean Is My Potion, on Jimmy Buffett’s Mailboat Records, just debuted at #1 on the Soundscan Reggae Chart.

Mishka first met Buffett many years ago when he was an entrepreneurial four year-old delivering fresh croissants to Jimmy’s sailboat in the French West Indies with his sisters. The musician and young Mishka formed a fast bond, and Jimmy wrote and recorded a song about him called, “Chanson Pour Les Petits Enfants” which translates to, “Song For Little Children.”

The two “Caribbean boys” recently sat down together with their guitars for a chat and a couple of songs, and the 12-minute video can be seen here.

In it, they talk about how they met, and perform both “Chanson Pour Les Petits Enfants” as well as the title track of Mishka’s new EP, Ocean Is My Potion. It's a charming peek at the legendary generosity of Buffett, who knows a thing or two about karma and giving back. 

As a surfer and swimmer, Mishka’s love for the ocean is evident in his songs, which are imprinted with the sounds and emotions of the islands, with influences that range from the heavy bass of Reggae to the gulf and western stylings of Jimmy Buffett. Mishka describes it as “island Buffett flavor.”

Recorded at the famed Shrimpboat Sound Studio in Key West, the album features Mishka’s take on the Jimmy Buffett classic, “Trying to Reason with Hurricane Season.” The track features both award-winning musician Mac McAnally and Buffett himself.

With an eclectic sound that blends island beats with mellow acoustic ballads, the music is amplified by the messages of love and social justice that are delivered straight from Mishka’s heart.

Mishka has played and toured with artists Kenny Chesney, Zac Brown, Dirty Heads, Matisyahu and the Roots. His laid-back style is the perfect antidote to our hectic, stressed-out lifestyles here on dry land.

Buffett is bringing the carnival to Frisco Saturday night ... his old friend Jackson Browne opens the show ... I understand tickets are still available at Ticketmaster ... it's the most fun you'll ever have ... just sayin'.

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