Tripping Over Shrimpboat Sound, Jimmy Buffett’s Key West Studio
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We were walking form Duval down Caroline Street, took a left down another street to get to the marina to jump on a sunset cruise and there it was. Everyone else in our group walked right by this unassuming building, but my buddy JR and I stopped right in our tracks. What could make us do that? How about a little Buffett magic.
There it stood, Shrimpboat Sound, Jimmy Buffett’s recording studio in Key West. Not much to it really, just a small white building sitting in the corner of the marina. No neon signs screaming “Buffett Lore Here”, just simple, unassuming and special. Hundreds of people, even Buffett fans, walk by the building ever day not knowing the magic that has happen inside.
Key West was always the natural choice for doing this project. I have spent enough time in studios in bad climates trying to make magic. Shrimpboat Sound was an attempt to put a unique but very functional studio into a place with atmosphere. You can’t get much more atmosphere than sitting on the porch at Shrimpboat and watching the world go by. Shrimpboat is housed in an old shrimp storage cooler where the boats would unload and deposit their catch (thus the name). It was put together by Ross Ritto who was my soundman on the road for over twenty years and now owns Sound Image, one of the top sound companies in the country. Over the years, we have recorded nearly a dozen albums at Shrimpboat and more recently the studio has been used by an eclectic group of artists from Billy Corgan to Toby Keith who like the sound that we have come up with.
Here is a cool behind the scenes video taken at Shrimpboat sounds with Jimmy and Terry and Staci of Miami’s KISS Country Radio.
I walked around the build one time thinking about history that has happened inside. We couldn’t hang out long because we were running late for our cruise, but I do see another chance to check out the studio in September when I’m down there for the Conched in Key West bar crawl that we are organizing.
Cheers to tripping over a little slice of the Buffett world. RumShopRyan
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