Boat Drunks: Taking Margaritaville to the Wine Trail

Boat Drunks:  Taking Margaritaville to the Wine Trail
Venues & Businesses
Von Jakob Vineyard

Who: Boat Drunks
What: VonJakobville festival and Jimmy Buffett tribute
When: 2012-01-28
Every year Von Jakob Vineyard brings a bit of the tropic to Southern Illinois with the VonJakobVille
Brian Wilson

Every year Von Jakob Vineyard brings a bit of the tropic to Southern Illinois with the VonJakobVille Festival. It’s a mixture of food, drink, and live music designed to provide some respite from the cold winter months, and this year’s event will take place Saturday, January 28 at Von Jakob’s Alto Pass location.

Returning to the festival for their seventh year will be the nationally known Jimmy Buffett tribute band the Boat Drunks. Now in their eleventh year as a group, the Boat Drunks have opened for Buffett, the Beach Boys, and Little Feat, and have performed with nearly every member of Buffett’s touring group. The Boat Drunks perform at venues across the country and receive regular airplay on Buffett’s Margaritaville station, Sirius XM Channel 24.

Boat Drunks manager Todd Lindsey says that while the group began as a straightforward Buffett tribute group, he sees a definite evolution in their songwriting.

“When we first started, we basically just did Buffett songs,” Lindsey says. “You know, songs that he wrote and performed, and then all the songs that he covered that he performed at his shows. We’ve gone from that to now having three albums of our own original music, and we do also some more covers of some things that we want to do as well as the covers that he still does in concert. So the show is really a nice mix.”

Boat Drunks percussionist Howie Golub agrees, adding that “you could call it Buffett-based, but I think it’s wider.... Trop-rock is what you’re gonna hear. It’s got elements of island style, country-western, Latin, straightahead rock ‘n’ roll. It’s a melting pot.”

Lindsey says even though the group is now performing in some less-than-tropical conditions through the winter months, they still try to maintain the atmosphere of their music.

“That’s what we try to create,” Lindsey says. “Just try to let people be in that kind of atmosphere, that Margaritaville, that Buffett kind of atmosphere, without actually traveling to the Caribbean or a Buffett show or whatever. Especially with something like this at VonJakobVille. Here we are in the middle of January, the middle of winter, and we’re all having a good time in our tropical Hawaiian shirts and leis having a drink and listening to some good island music in the middle of winter. So it’s a nice kind of cabin-fever kind of thing.”

Golub says the cold weather never prevents people from coming out and enjoying the music.

“The whole vibe, warm weather, summer fun, regardless of whatever the season actually is... a lot of people come dressed up,” he says. “Tropical shirts, you see a couple of grass skirts, coconut bras. People really get into it. The crowd gets into it, too.”

Golub adds that the group always enjoys playing VonJakobVille, and encourages folks who’ve never heard this type of music to come out and have a good time.

“It’s a great party,” he says. “There’s people of all ages, from twenty-one to seventy-seven. A lot of dancing, a lot of singing along. We toast the crowd with what we call socials to get everyone involved. It’s just a fun time.”

In addition to the live music, folks coming to the festival will get to enjoy a buffet as well as a variety of domestic and craft beers and wines.

Tickets to the festival are $15, which includes the live music, a souvenir wine glass, and a lei.

Doors open at 10 a.m. The buffet will be served starting at noon, and the Boat Drunks will perform from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.

To learn more about the Boat Drunks, visit <>. To follow the band or to hear samples of their music, visit their Facebook page.

who: Boat Drunks

what: VonJakobville festival and Jimmy Buffett tribute

where: Von Jakob Orchard

when: Saturday, January 28