IF YOU GO
What: Fins to the Left, with Rudy and the Professionals
When: 6 p.m. Saturday
Where: Warren Community Amphitheatre, 303 Mahoning Ave. NW, Warren
Admission: $5; go to riverrockattheamp.com for info
321 Mahoning Ave., Warren
By GUY D’ASTOLFO
It’s the ultimate tribute to a tribute band.
Three members of Jimmy Buffett’s Coral Reefer band will perform with Fins to the Left at two gigs this weekend.
Greg “Fingers” Taylor (harmonica), Michael Utley (keyboards) and Robert Greenridge (steel drums) will join the Mahoning Valley-based Fins at shows in Cuyahoga Falls on Friday and at the Warren Community Amphitheater on Saturday.
“Being a Parrothead since 8th grade, I still can’t believe it’s happening,” said Holly Stevens, Fins singer.
“It’s especially great because Jimmy isn’t playing Cleveland or Cincinnati this year, so this will be the only time the Coral Reefers will play Ohio this summer.”
Jimmy Buffett and the Coral Reefers will make their only regional appearance Aug. 12 at First Niagara Pavilion near Pittsburgh.
How did Fins get the trio of Reefers to accompany them?
Basically, they asked.
“Fingers Taylor has played a few jobs with us, and we contacted Utley and Greenidge and basically just asked if they’d be interested, and luckily they had those dates open,” said Stevens.
Fins has actually known Taylor for a couple of years now, and he has played with the band before.
“On a whim, we had contacted his manager to see if he’d be interested in playing with us at a corporate show in Cincinnati, and to our surprise, he said yes. He also joined us last year in Youngstown for a Parrothead benefit at Christmastime. Seems funny that all we had to do was ask, but that’s really all it was.”
Stevens and Shawn Lawless formed Fins 12 years ago, and they have since built the act into the region’s premiere Buffett tribute band.
Other members include Craig Allen, Jeff Spencer, Chris Rossvanes, Doug Smith, Giulio Savioli, Chuck Hall and Bill Ebie.
Stevens’ love for Buffett’s music has never ebbed, and she’s looking forward to this weekend’s shows.
“I can tell you there is nothing more magical to a Buffett fan in a tribute band than to hit the harmonica lead and hear it played by the guy that did it with Buffett on the original recording,” she said.
“It was one of those surreal moments in life.”
Stevens said Taylor and Lawless keep in contact. “Fingers is open to playing with us whenever he is available,” she said, adding “[he is] a truly down-to-earth, great guy.”