The Pascagoula Run: Jimmy Buffett tribute concert draws a packed house

“What’s happening here in Pascagoula tonight, he’s smiling. There’s no doubt about it.”

PASCAGOULA, Miss. (WLOX) - Five South Mississippi musicians paid tribute to Jimmy Buffett Sunday night before a packed house at the Grand Magnolia Ballroom in Pascagoula.

The band consisted of Matt Hoggatt, Darwin and Dana Nelson, Taylor Craven, and Johnny Myer. The group has played together off and on since 2009, but it was Jimmy Buffett’s music that first connected them.

“We all were highly influenced by Jimmy’s music growing up,” said Hoggatt. “Some of us have met him, some of us have worked with him. We’re all influenced by him and that’s what brought us all together years ago before we even had anything in common. And we’re here still playing together today.”

“I just love his music. I really, truly love his music,” said Nelson. “I think this is our way of saying thank you Jimmy Buffett for your contribution to music, to gulf and western music, to music that so many people can relate to. There are just so many admirers of his music, and all across the country, people are dressed as Parrotheads.”

Among those in the full venue was a close friend to Jimmy Buffett, and fellow Pascagoula native, Franz Hanning.

“This is just an unbelievable thing. And I’ll tell you, Jimmy would’ve loved this. He would’ve absolutely loved this,” Hanning said. “You could’ve had one of these things pretty much anywhere in the world and people would come out. That’s the impact Jimmy had. His music changed people’s lives and people over that. What’s happening here in Pascagoula tonight, he’s smiling. There’s no doubt about it.”

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Noah Noble

Noah Noble

As a native of Ocean Springs, Noah Noble has spent most of his life on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.