Jimmy Buffett

Live at Fenway Park

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At some point, Jimmy Buffett -- like the Grateful Dead -- learned to turn his music and persona into a cottage industry and big bucks. And while cynics might view the onslaught of CDs, DVDs, and merchandise as crass, the folks buying seem to want it. In Buffett's case, it doesn't hurt that he has a knack for delivering -- musically and performance-wise -- exactly what fans want on albums like Live at Fenway Park. One shouldn't expect long jams or reinterpretations of classic songs here, but fairly straightforward, competently delivered versions of everything from "Volcano" to "Come Monday" to "Margaritaville." Live at Fenway Park, then, is basically a soundtrack to a Parrothead party that took place in Boston on September 10th and 12th, complete with screaming, happy fans. It's no secret that Buffett's a bit of a goofball, and he loves to talk to the crowd between songs and doesn't even mind shouting out a bit of nonsense right in the middle of a song. What, then, makes this collection special when a number of other live Buffett discs are on the market? Probably the fact that the package holds two complete unedited audio discs and -- for the grand finale -- has a 55-minute DVD that includes film footage from both shows. Interestingly, it would seem that Buffett, like the Dead and Pearl Jam, has learned that it's fun (and profitable) to release one's own bootlegs. To break out a tired old cliché, Live at Fenway Park is probably the best thing next to being there, and will supply the perfect soundtrack for inviting a few Parrotheads over for margaritas.

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