There’s a bar on the island here called the Palace Saloon that looks just like Brooklyn bar Skinny Dennis, the bar in which Jumbo Brown shot much of their video for “Ain’t Nothing Wrong,” the first single off their upcoming album American Primitive (December 2). The Palace, located in Fernandina Beach, holds the distinction of being “Florida’s oldest continuously operated drinking establishment.” It just looks like the kind of place you could hang out for an entire afternoon and get drunk. Friendly though, with a big wooden pirate guarding the doors. I don’t go in there much because they smoke in there. But live music occasionally emanates from it.
Why make that connection? Jumbo Brown plays the most inviting honky tonk you could possibly imagine, and there’s another bar on Amelia Island called the Green Turtle, known for its outdoor porch performances by classic rock and country (mostly cover) bands, that the band would probably consider the absolute perfect spot for a performance. It’s kinda like an old-head surfer bar. Hipsters and parrotheads alike love it. And Jumbo Brown frontman Scotty Darda looks like he’s a surfer without an ocean up there in New York. So c’mon down to Fernandina Beach – I know some good places to grab a coupla brews.
No Jimmy Buffett though. Not a fan.
But man, “Ain’t Nothing Wrong” doesn’t do anything set to visuals to dissuade it from being one of the most affable tunes I’ve ever heard. “Ain’t nothing wrong sittin’ down by the fire / and breaking bread with a couple good friends,” Darda and co. sing on the chorus, and you get the feeling that you’d be invited to one of these powwows if you simply passed the band on the street. It doesn’t hurt that there’s very little pretension to the song, no gross Rascall Flatts or Florida Georgia Line polish or anything like that. (I can’t even believe I can pull two ridiculous country bands out of my head like that – I don’t dabble much in those waters.) Gotta love the backporch jive of it all, the fabulous mandolin and fiddle, and the, dare I say, stunning pianny (“I said pianny, not piano!” to paraphrase some Simpsons episode or other) solo by John “Crazy Cajun” Hebert.
So I guess there really ain’t nothing wrong with wanting to relax and unwind with a few pints, a few friends, and a few laughs. (See what I did there?) Jumbo Brown on the stereo? Icing on the cake. Or, uh, foam on the brew. Is that a metaphor? Well, it is now.