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Will Kimbrough Talks About Two More Songs on Buffett’s New Album

September 25th, 2023

Jimmy Buffett and Will Kimbrough worked closely on the upcoming posthumous album Equal Strain on All Parts and in an interview with AL.com, Kimbrough talks about two of the tracks: “Close Calls” and “University of Bourbon Street.”

“Jimmy wanted to write a song about his brushes with death,” Kimbrough said of “Close Calls.” “And so he told me a couple of stories and I sketched out a song. He changed some of the lyrics.” Buffett collaborator Mac McAnally also contributed, he said.

Kimbrough described the result as “a throwback to his early days, it’s a tongue-in-cheek fast country song, very country.” It features features Stuart Duncan, a Grammy-winning bluegrass fiddler. “It’s fun, it’s fast, it reminds me of something off of ‘White Sport Coat,’” Kimbrough said, referencing Buffett’s 1973 album “A White Sport Coat and a Pink Crustacean.”

While Kimbrough didn’t reveal which incidents made the song, Buffett’s eventful life provided a few to choose from. A recent People.com story described three, including one that was the basis of the song “Jamaica Mistaica.” There was also that unfortunate time he fell from a stage in Australia.

“The University of Bourbon Street” also draws directly on Buffett mythology, Kimbrough said. He described it as “a story song about Jimmy’s early years in the late ‘60s in New Orleans, playing in a band on Bourbon Street.”

“And that song is great,” said Kimbrough. “It has the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, guesting on the song. What a thrill for me, a lover of New Orleans music if there ever was one, me, to have the Preservation Hall Jazz Band … trading licks with my guitar at certain moments in the song. [It] just gives me a thrill beyond belief.”

Kimbrough said the making of the song illustrates how energetic Buffett was during the recording sessions for “Equal Strain On All Parts,” held in January. He arrived on the second day of the sessions, after received a treatment for the skin cancer he’d been battling for several years.

Read the full interview here.

Tagged in Albums, Singles