Eli Young Band Recruits Jimmy Buffett For ‘Fins Up Version’ of ‘Saltwater Gospel’

Attention all Parrottheads: Eli Young Band recruited Jimmy Buffett for a new rendition of their song “Saltwater Gospel” and you’re…

By

Lauren Jo Black

| Posted on

August 21, 2020

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Eli Young Band, Jimmy Buffett

Attention all Parrottheads: Eli Young Band recruited Jimmy Buffett for a new rendition of their song “Saltwater Gospel” and you’re going to want to add this one to your playlist.

Dubbed the “fins up version,” the new, reimagined version of “Saltwater Gospel” features the country band alongside Buffett and gives new life to the Ross Copperman, Nicolle Galyon and Ashley Gorley-penned song.

Originally released in 2016, the song was never a major hit at country radio, but lead singer Mike Eli says he always thought this song stood out.

“We’d always known from the early days of playing ‘Saltwater Gospel’ live that it was special. Crowds would sing along as if it was already a huge hit. Our team noticed a massive swell of streaming recently and some radio stations began playing it again. With signs there was more life to this song, the idea of re-releasing a fresh version was really exciting for us to explore,” he explains. “We aimed high thinking how cool it would be to have Jimmy Buffett, but finding out he was interested, we were pumped! He’s an icon who’s made a huge impact on the world with fans completely devoted to his persona and laidback party environment. Plus, he likes a drink now and then, and so do we.”

Bassist Jon Jones continued, “before we even recorded the original version of the song, we thought of Jimmy the first time we heard ‘Saltwater Gospel.’ It sounded and felt like the lifestyle he embodies – calming yet rejuvenated. Now to come full circle on a collaboration with him, it’s really cool and beyond what we ever could have expected.”

YouTube video

Enter Jimmy Buffett. EYB’s team approached the iconic entertainer and he agreed to lend his vocals to the track.

“It was Mac McAnally who turned me on to Eli Young Band a while back. I started listening to them and heard that song when it came out. I thought that’s a very cool song, because it immediately got my attention since I am a child of the Gulf Coast, having grown up around Mobile Bay and every stretch of water between Key West and Corpus Christi,” Buffett said. “I also love the Texas side to them, as someone who spent a lot of time in my early solo career running around playing colleges, bars and honky tonks in Texas.  So of course I said, ‘yeah, I’d love to do this’ and thought it was a great idea. I can’t wait to go out and play it with EYB on the road when it’s safe and we can have fun and go down to the Saltwater Gospel!”

Buffett is no stranger to working within the country genre. In 2003, he teamed up with Alan Jackson on “It’s Five O’ Clock Somewhere” and later worked with Martina McBride, Toby Keith and Zac Brown Band.

Click above to listen to the “fins up version” of “Saltwater Gospel.”

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Lauren Jo Black

Written by

Lauren Jo Black

Lauren Jo Black, a University of Central Florida graduate, has immersed herself in the world of country music for over 15 years. In 2008, she co-founded CountryMusicIsLove, eventually selling it to a major record label in 2015. Following the rebranding of the website to Sounds Like Nashville, Black served as Editor-in-Chief for two and a half years. Currently, she assumes the role of Editor-in-Chief at Country Now and oversees Country Now’s content and digital footprint. Her extensive experience also encompasses her previous role as a Country Music Expert Writer for Answers.com and her work being featured on Forbes.com. She’s been spotlighted among Country Aircheck’s Women of Influence and received the 2012 Rising Star Award from the University of Central Florida. Black also spent time in front of the camera as host of Country Now Live, which brought live music directly to fans in 2021 when the majority of concerts were halted due to the pandemic. During this time, she hosted 24 weeks of live concerts via Country Now Live on Twitch with special guests such as Lady A, Dierks Bentley, Jordan Davis, Brett Young, and Jon Pardi. Over the course of her career, she has had the privilege of conducting interviews with some of the industry’s most prominent stars, including Reba McEntire, Blake Shelton, Luke Combs, Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, Lainey Wilson, and many others. Lauren Jo Black is a longtime member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.