Fruitcakes is a mid-term album by Jimmy Buffett, or in this allusion, it is.

I was spooling it up for a coastal trip, previously having written about that very album – buying the CD

“Well the first days are the hardest days, don’t you worry any more,
Cause when life looks like easy street, there is danger at your door.
Think this through with me, let me know your mind,
Wo, oh, what I want to know, is are you kind?”

    Hunter/Garcia: Uncle John’s Band lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc., Universal Music Publishing Group

Fruitcakes – Jimmy Buffett

Digging through a washtub full of CDs, I found the original jewel case for the CD, but no hard copy. Eventually, I went ahead and bought it – second or third time – on iTunes.

The appeal, to me, is that it’s a lyrical Grateful Dead tune, and that doesn’t always match up with Buffett’s Bars, Boats, and Beaches central thematic core.

Can’t say I recall, but if memory serves correctly, I probably first bought Fruitcakes in an Austin Sam’s Club, truly bulk distribution. Almost ironic, at this juncture in my life? I no longer even belong to Sam’s as the political flavor is wrong for me.

Playing in the band, the ever-present refrain, “Come hear uncle John’s band…”

There’s an echo, the refrain.

“Come hear uncle John’s band by the riverside,
Got some things to talk about, here beside the rising tide.”

Iconic, not ironic, the Dead show up time and again, perhaps really, truly roots Americana music.

About the author: Born and raised in East Texas, Kramer Wetzel, settled in a South Austin trailer park before trailer parks were cool. He now lives in San Antonio, Texas.

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