“This is probably my favorite album. At the time, Jimmy was writing his first book, and he had a deadline that he had to make, so he called me into actually produce the writing for the album. Along with the great keyboard player and dear friend Jay Oliver; Peter Mayer, Jimmy’s guitar player; and Roger Guth, Jimmy’s drummer, I went to Key West to this place called The Fish Camp, a little complex that was Jimmy’s compound.
“Jimmy’s concept for Barometer Soup was to be inspired by Key West and write songs in the way that Mark Twain and Ernest Hemingway wrote about the area. We tried to create some musical movies inspired by Key West and its history.
“We would spend the morning drinking coffee and reading, and then Jay would go to the piano and start coming up with something; somebody else would have an idea and we’d collaborate. We would write the music, with the four of us keeping a rough sketch of lyrics.
“Jimmy would come in once or twice a week, and we would give him the takes of the tough tracks that we put together, just MIDI stuff and a guitar. We might only have a line for a chorus, a beginning of a chorus, and maybe a brief sketch of what a verse might be. Jimmy would take them, and then he’d go away and finish them up. We would just push it out on the ocean, and he would go jump on it.
“That’s my favorite record because it’s very influenced by Key West, Hemingway and Mark Twain. We wrote about one of the restaurants down there, Blue Heaven. But we just let the experience of where we were with this basic idea of Mark Twain and Hemingway inform what we were coming up with. So it’s my favorite record of Jimmy that I produced. I’m really, really proud of it."