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Will Kimbrough will open for Mac McAnally in Jimmy Buffett’s hometown of Pascagoula

Will Kimbrough (center), shown here with Rodney Crowell and Eamon McLaughlin at the Grand Magnolia in Pascagoula, will open for Mac McAnally in June at that same venue. (Photo by Danny "Toad" Smith)
Jimmy Buffett performs with Mac McAnally at the Grand Magnolia Ballroom in Pascagoula in 2017. (Photo by Danny “Toad” Smith.)

Pascagoula will transform into its own “Margaritavile” on the weekend of Saturday, June 17th.
A pair of Pascagoula native Jimmy Buffett’s favorite co-writers over the past two decades are set to join forces together in the “Mayor of Margaritaville’s” hometown as Will Kimbrough will be the opening act for 10-time Country Music Academy Musician of the Year Mac McAnally.
A few tickets remain available for the show at as well as in person at Scranton’s Restaurant.
The pairing of both Buffett’s right-hand man in the Corral Reefer Band McAnally and the Mobile, Ala., native and longtime Buffett collaborator Kimbrough at the same venue on the same night is a rare event indeed. It’s only happened a few times over the past 20 years.
Showtime at the Grand Magnolia Ballroom is set for 8 p.m.
The now Nashville-based singer/songwriter Kimbrough had four co-songwriting credits with Buffett on Jimmy’s latest release “Life on the Flip Side” and he is expected to have at least three co-writes with both McAnally and Buffett on the Pascagoula natives’ next release which is due out by the end of this year. That makes well over 20 Kimbrough or Buffett/Kimbrough songs that Buffett has recorded on his past 10 albums.

Mac McAnally and Jimmy Buffet perform at The Grand Magnolia Ballroom in Pascagoula in 2017. (Photo by Danny “Toad” Smith)
Jimmy Buffett watches Mac McAnally on stage at the Grand Magnolia Ballroom in Pascagoula in 2017. (Photo by Danny “Toad” Smith)

He forged a friendship with the Gulf Coast’s favorite “Son of a Son of A Sailor” almost two decades ago, and he admittedly enjoys coming back home to play his music and sing his songs, especially in Pascagoula.
“I can’t wait to play the Grand Magnolia again. I’m always excited to play in Pascagoula,” Kimbrough said. “What a great room for music — especially the kind of music Mac and I play and sing. It’s going to be a great time, and I hope to see everyone there. Mac is such a special performer and friend; sharing a stage or studio with him is always an awesome experience.”
“I’m a Mississippi guy,” McAnally said, “I like coming back home and playing my songs. I like playing my own shows in small venues because my music is like a story you would tell to a small room of friends.”
Buffett has recorded versions of Kimbrough’s songs “Nobody from Nowhere,” “Piece of Work,” “Wings,” and “Soulfully” over the past two decades as well as “Mailbox Money” and”Slow Lane” among others. Little Feat and Buffett recorded Kimbrough’s song “Champion of the World.”
The multi-talented Kimbrough has written, recorded, performed and produced for and with the likes of Buffett, Rodney Crowell, Emmylou Harris, McAnally, Mavis Staples, John Prine, Todd Snider, and Little Feat, just to name a few.
Kimbrough is currently a key member of Emmylou’s band the “Red Dirt Boys”.
“Will is a tremendous songwriter, a great guitarist and just an inspirational person.” the legendary Harris said. “There’s nobody out there like him. No wonder everybody wants to work with him.”
Also, Crowell has played two sold-out shows at the Grand Magnolia over the past four years, with Kimbrough opening for him in Pascagoula in late 2019. The multi-Grammy Award-winning legend is such a big fan of Kimbrough that he recently asked him to play his birthday party.

Will Kimbrough opens for Rody Crowell at the Grand Magnolia Ballroom in October of 2019. (Photo by Danny “Toad” Smith)
Mac McAnally and Jimmy Buffett perform on the beach in Pascagoula in 2015. (Photo by Danny “Toad” Smith)

But the Pascagoula native Buffett may have said it best.
“Will is a wonderful throwback to the now bygone era of singer, songwriter, musician, and entertainer,” Buffett, who has recorded at least one of Kimbrough’s songs on each of his last eight albums, said. “Instead of substituting technology for talent, he has a unique ability to use modern-day tools to produce lasting lyrics and melodies. On stage, he can charm a crowd whether fronting a band, or playing solo. That is why you see his songs on my albums and his face on our stage.”
Buffett is no stranger to the stage at The Grand Magnolia either. Buffett performed with Mac McAnally in the venue in 2017. The Grand Mag, in fact, has become somewhat of a destination for many of Buffett’s friends and musical acquaintances, as in addition to McAnally, Kimbrough and Buffett himself, songwriting legends Crowell (“Stars on The Water”) and J.D. Souther have both performed inside the Grand Mag within the past few years. Also, Steuart Smith, longtime guitarist for The Eagles, has played on the stage of the venue as a member of Crowell’s band.

Jimmy Buffett and Mac McAnally perform on the main stage at Jazz Fest before 80,000 people in early May of 2022. Just five day later, McAnally played two sold-out shows at the Grand Magnolia in Pascagoula. (Photo courtesy of the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival.)

Buffett, of course, inducted The Eagles into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame some years back, and Souther penned many of The Eagles’ biggest hits (“Best of My Love”, “New Kid in Town’) as well.
This will mark McAnally’s fifth show at The Grand Magnolia in the past six years, including a pair of consecutive night sold-out shows in mid-May of 2022.
McAnally is a Belmont, Miss., native, and his 10 CMA MOTY Awards are a record in that category.
The multi-talented McAnally is also a member of the Nashville Songwriters’ Hall of Fame, the Mississippi Musicians Hall of Fame, The Alabama Music Hall of Fame and was nominated for a Grammy Award. He was also honored recently with having a star dedicated in his name on the Music City Walk of Fame in downtown Nashville
McAnally has also written numerous top hits over the years for the likes of Kenny Chesney (“Down The Road”), Alabama (“Old Flame”), Shenandoah (“Two Dozen Roses”), Sawyer Brown (“All These Years”, “Thank God for you”) as well as Steve Wariner (“Crazy World”) and Sammy Kershaw (“Southbound”) among others.

Jimmy Buffett joined Mac Mcanally on stage at the Grand Magnolia Ballroom in Buffett’s hometown of Pascagoula in 2017. (Photo by Danny “Toad” Smith)

Buffett has also covered many McAnally songs such as “It’s My Job” and Buffett and McAnally’s rendition of Mac’s song “Back Where I come from” in Buffett’s live shows have become a crowd favorite all over the world. Chesney also had a number-one hit with that song.
“I’ve been around storytellers all my life, Southern whittlers and guys at the courthouse,” McAnally concluded. “I’ve listened to the melodies in their conversation, the rising and falling. I’ve watched how they use their hands and tried to translate that into music. I’ve read a lot of Faulkner, Eudora Welty, and Flannery O’Connor, you know the Mississippi writers. I’m definitely not in their league, but I’ve tried to write as if I were cooking short stories down to a reduction of three-minute songs. It’s not that I’m a brilliant guy or anything; that’s just the way I work.”


Written by Curtis Rockwell

Curtis has almost three decades of experience at four different daily newspapers across South Mississippi, specializing in Sports and live Music.


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