Friday, July 26, 2013

Trop Rock Jim Morris Style at Isles Yacht Club

Jim Morris 
Jim Morris is known as Southwest Florida's own version of Jimmy Buffett.  And there's no doubt that Morris' music -- which he composes himself -- carries on Buffett's trop rock tradition.  Going to the Nav-A-Gator to see one of Morris' performances is always fun.  But when you have the chance to hear him perform in a bit quieter venue, you can really appreciate how funny his lyrics are.  This week Morris, together with steel drummer/percussionist John Patti, appeared at the Isles Yacht Club.  It was a real treat.

John Patti
The evening featured a lot of music from Morris' new CD entitled "The Man Who Offered the Moon" (a copy of which is now in my hot little hands).  Morris interspersed his songs with explanations of their back stories.  As a corporate guy in his former life, Morris often sings about moving from that world to a life where "you work hard at doing nothing all day."  In "Your Girlfriend Says Hello," a working stiff has taken off for Cabo and realizes that he's not going back to the rat race.  When he calls his boss to give him the news, he also shares that "your girlfriend says hello." (Big laughs from the crowd at this lyric.)   Jim came up with the idea for "Yankee Strangers," one of his oldies but goodies, when he picked John Patti up at the airport and was taken aback because John was wearing jeans.  The song cautions the ladies against succumbing to the overtures of men who visit from "the land of long pants" and, later, "the land of shoes and socks."   (Let's admit it -- if the stranger looked like John Patti, you wouldn't really care what he was wearing.)

Joanne Collins had no
trouble with her kazoo
Morris played some audience favorites, including the "Nav-A-Gator" song.   Those of us at Table 22 played the kazoos that Bruce and Dorrit brought along for the occasion.  (For the record, I am a terrible kazoo player.  I just can't seem to figure out how to hum rather than blow, and the water from the kazoo's recent washing kept spewing out at me like a fountain.)

After surveying the group, Morris declared that he thought we could handle the off-color lyrics from two songs off his new CD.  He told us that he'd written "Tonight I Just Came Here to Drink" for the guys and "Mr. Right" for the women.  In the first, a bunch of guys are out for an evening of drinking and camaraderie but one of the men keeps being distracted by a beautiful woman who's "undressing him with her eyes."  My favorite stanza about the woman goes:

"Those legs, oh those legs,
Stop pointing them at me
I see you're from Brazil,
Or at least you appear to be."  

Jim, you naughty songwriter!  (For the record, none of the audience members went into cardiac arrest upon hearing this.)

In "Mr. Right," Morris sympathizes with the plight of the single woman looking for that perfect guy.

"I know who you're looking for,
And I can tell you he's not here.

He's got looks like a handsome movie star,
A body that's just insane,
The money of a Wall Street banker,
And a rocket surgeon brain.

It's not hard to figure out
I'm not that kind of man.
But I've got a giving heart,
And I'll help out out if I can."

Then comes the chorus:

"I won't be the man
To kiss and hold you tight
And you won't find me dancing
Through your dreams every night.

I'm not the guy they sing about
In those lovey-dovey songs
Why don't you just do me
'Til Mr. Right comes along?
You're welcome to me
'Til Mr. Right comes along."

Really, who could refuse such a generous offer?

As you can probably tell, it was quite a fun evening.   Morris has written and recorded 162 songs, and during the course of a given gig, he performs about 35 of them.  There are different iterations depending upon whether he's playing solo, with Patti, as part of his trio, or with the entire Bamboo Band (which I've yet to see perform).  So there's little risk of getting bored hearing the same old thing when you go to a Morris concert.  If you want to catch Jim at a venue near you, you can find his performance schedule at   A good time is sure to be had by all.

1 comment:

  1. I had never heard of Jim Morris until now. I'm intrigued! Certainly, I will look him up on the web.
    Thanks, Nanette!


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