Throwback To Jimmy Buffett Performing “Back Where I Come From” With Kenny Chesney & Mac McAnally At Nashville’s Exit/In

Jimmy Buffett Kenny Chesney Mac McAnally country music

The soundtrack to today’s kickoff to the college football season will be filled with the sounds of the islands.

Jimmy Buffett, the legendary “Margaritaville” singer whose music instantly transported listeners to the salty beach air with a drink in hand, passed away last night at the age of 76.

Since then, tributes to Buffett have poured in from all over the world, including this touching tribute from his friend and fellow country artist Kenny Chesney.

Jimmy and Kenny teamed up many times over the years, including for a cover of Hank Williams’ “Hey Good Lookin'” on Jimmy’s 2004 album License to Chill, and “Trying to Reason With Hurricane Season” from Kenny’s 2018 album Songs for the Saints.

And while Jimmy may be more associated with Key West than Music City, the legend actually got his start in Nashville.

Buffett recorded his first album, a country/folk rock record called Down to Earth, on the now-defunct Barnaby Records, and shortly after he wandered into a still-under-construction venue in Nashville called Exit/In and asked for a gig.

And it paid off: Jimmy Buffett would become the first artist to ever play the now-historic Nashville venue.

According to Exit/In co-founder Brugh Reynolds:

“In the summer of 1971 while we were building this place, this guy wanders in off the streets, he’s wearing tennis whites. He says, ‘What are y’all doing here? What’s going on?’

I said, ‘Oh, we’re opening this club.’

He said, ‘Oh really? I play music.’

He went and got his guitar, I think he played a few things for us, and so Jimmy Buffett was the first act to ever play at the Exit/In.”

Though his career ultimately took him to Key West and away from Nashville, Jimmy never lost his connection with Music City.

And back in 2021, he returned to the stage where he got his start for a private show at Exit/In, where he was joined by some of Nashville’s biggest stars for a memorable performance.

During the show, Buffett brought out Kenny Chesney and legendary songwriter Mac McAnally for a performance of “Back Where I Come From,” a song that was originally written and recorded by McAnally before becoming a hit for Chesney when he re-recorded it for his 1996 album Me and You.

Buffett has actually performed the song quite a few times, many with his good friend McAnally, but seeing the three of them together, on the small historic stage where Buffett played all those years ago, is just a special moment.

Oh, and of course the trio also performed Buffett’s classic “Margaritaville.”

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock