Coming out Friday, November 3rd, is “Equal Strain On All Parts,” an album Jimmy Buffett and his Coral Reefer Band recorded prior to Buffett's death on September 1st at the age of 76. Buffett co-wrote 11 of the 14 tracks for his 32nd studio album, which also features a cover of “Mozambique,” a song from Bob Dylan's 1976 album “Desire” that Buffett particularly liked. Guests on “Equal Strain…” include Paul McCartney, Emmylou Harris, Angelique Kidjo, Will Kimbrough, the Preservation Hall Jazz Band and even Buffett's dog Kingston.
Keyboardist Mike Utley, who worked with Buffett for 50 years, co-produced “Equal Strain…” with Mac McAnally, a Coral Reefer Band mate for 45 years. Utley tells us that making the album meant the world to the ailing Buffett:
“Yes, it feels great. It feels fulfilling. We were able to say goodbye; Mac and I were up there the day before he passed. The first thing he said, he said, 'Yeah, we got an album coming out!' 'Yeah, that's right. That's it, yeah.' He was always positive.” :23 OC: He was always positive
Buffett was diagnosed with Merkel cell carcinoma, a rare skin cancer, back in 2019. He was hospitalized last year and went into hospice care during the summer before passing away at his home in Sag Harbor, N.Y.
Some behind-the-scenes footage from the “Equal Strain…” sessions, including McCartney recording on the track “My Gummie Just Kicked In,” has already been released, with more to come.
Utley and McAnally tell us that they expect the Coral Reefer Band to continue playing in Buffett's absence but specific plans have not yet been determined.