Wine Country

Jimmy Buffett Tribute Band Hits Wine Country

Temecula wine country is considered, by many, as a little slice of paradise. Add a cheeseburger and you’ve got Garratt Wilkin and the Parrotheads.

“Everybody acts like they’re at a Jimmy Buffett concert. If you take a picture of the crowd, it looks just like Jimmy’s crowd. They dress up and wear parrot hats and they’ll get up and do a conga line.”

With songs like “Margaritaville,” “Volcano,” and “Cheeseburger in Paradise,” celebrating the atmosphere and attitude of Key West, Florida and other tropical locales, Jimmy Buffett has become an American musical institution.

With legions of fans flocking to his concerts; filling the parking lots with virtual villages of pop up tents, barbeques and beach chairs, Buffett’s “Parrotheads” migrate toward anywhere their idol performs. Donning parrot hats and Hawaiian shirts, the Buffett devotees sing along, drink their margaritas and basically immerse themselves in the vacation that is one of his shows.

Because of his tremendous fan-base, Buffett imitators are prevalent, but, according to Garratt Wilkin of Garratt Wilkin and the Parrotheads, Jimmy himself knows that no two (thousand) tribute bands are alike.

“I got to meet Jimmy a couple of times and, he likes the tribute thing, but says that some of them aren’t that good,” Wilkin said during a recent phone interview. “But I don’t think we’re in that category so I feel pretty good about what we’re doing.”

Wilkin’s transition from a standard bar band to a full-scale Buffett tribute was natural; as the decision was practically made for him.

“If I played one Jimmy Buffett song, people would ask for another one,” he said. “And then they’d ask for another one and then another one. Pretty soon we’d end up spending the entire night singing half Jimmy Buffett songs and half any other. So, then we started doing all Jimmy Buffett songs. That was a little over fifteen years ago.”

Having been billed as the #1 Jimmy Buffett Tribute Band, Garratt Wilkin and the Parrotheads are definitely in the upper echelon of “Margaritaville” musicians and, if you check out one of their shows, the evidence that they’ve been accepted by the faithful is quite obvious.

“Everybody acts like they’re at a Jimmy Buffett concert,” Wilkin said. “If you take a picture of the crowd, it looks just like Jimmy’s crowd. They dress up and wear parrot hats and they’ll get up and do a conga line.”

Returning to Wilson Creek Winery on August 15th, Garratt Wilkin and the Parrotheads look forward to the revelry that will inevitably take place.

“We’ve done the Wilson Creek Winery several times now and people know it’s a great show because it actually sells out,” Wilkin said. “We’ve had over 600 people there and it really is like being at a Jimmy Buffett concert. It’s one of the better venues we play, where people really cut loose and have a great time. If you can’t go see Jimmy, go see Garratt.”

Garratt Wilkin and the Parrotheads

August 15th at 7pm
Wilson Creek Winery

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Holly Herndon

Holly Herndon

Holly has been covering arts & entertainment in the Temecula Valley for as long as she has been a part of the community. She loves San Diego sports almost as much as she loves her family.

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