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Peter Mayer Looks to the Future with New Music Projects

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Recently I spoke with Peter Mayer, the lead guitarist of Jimmy Buffett’s Coral Reefer Band and when I asked him how he came to be a part of the band, he told me it was sort of a “cross town collision… Your insurance agent will call mine and we’ll make it work.” Well, Peter wasn’t talking about traffic, obviously!

Peter Mayer

Peter Mayer performs in Key West. Photo © Ron Horne.

Back in 1988, he formed a band called PM with his brother, Jim Mayer and Roger Guth and signed with Warner Brothers records. They actually had a song called “Piece of Paradise” go up the charts to number 8. Lo and behold, however, the time began when record labels began to downsize, LPs were becoming CDs and companies were letting go of bands. Unfortunately, the PM band was let go from Warner Brothers.

Understandably, they wondered where they would go from there, but their own producer called them and said he was producing a new album for Jimmy Buffett and he was on the lookout for a new band. Enthusiastically, Peter, Jim and Roger rendezvoused in New York City to the studio and Jimmy Buffett entered, looked around and declared “So this is my new band!” Peter told me “Jimmy, in his warm and gregarious manner, made friends with us and we made music together.” That was the Off to See the Lizard album and that was twenty-seven years ago. They were invited to Key West and offered the first summer tour. What a great long adventure it’s been!

Peter Mayer Jimmy Buffett

Peter Mayer performing with Jimmy Buffett in Austin, TX. Photo © Jeff Cohen

Peter confided that the touring was a bit long in the beginning, but soon after, the band was only on tour a couple of weeks at a time, providing for time off before the next round of concerts. That allowed for a living to be made, but also for Peter to spend time with his family and begin to concentrate on his own music. He calls Jimmy “the Energizer Bunny” and says “it’s been a great match for so many years now.”

Peter performs on almost all of Buffett’s albums, however he missed the recording for License to Chill because it was recorded during the month of December when Peter already had several dates lined up for his annual “Stars and Promises” Christmas tour (read our recap of one of Peter’s Christmas show). He has several albums based on those Christmas tours.

With Jimmy possibly taking a break next year from touring, Peter looks upon that free time as a chance to tour more, and to especially play music with his son Brendan. He’s very proud of the musician that Brendan has become and is excited about being a duo together. In fact, the two of them recently played the “Meet Me in the Keys” event in mid-June. He also looks forward to concentrating on finishing some exciting projects, such as another Peter Mayer Group album and a solo voice and guitar album. Plus, there are many options to work on projects with fellow Coral Reefers, such as Roger Guth, Mac McAnnaly and Peter’s brother, Jim Mayer. “I’m just happy to be still playing music and singing.”

Peter Mayer Brendan Mayer

Peter Mayer performs with his son, Brendan Mayer. Photo © Ron Horne.

I asked about one of my recently favorite songs, “Casa Cayo Hueso,” which Peter wrote and recorded with his son Brendan and Scott Kirby. Many of us were in that recording audience at the Casa Marina during last year’s Meeting of the Minds. He told me their group, MKM, has been performing and touring for three years now. In addition to future touring with Brendan as a duo, Peter Might add more musicians to the band creating the large Mayer Group.

Peter also told me he tours around to different church venues. Did you realize his father was a Lutheran pastor and missionary in India? Faith still has an important role in Peter’s life. He released an album more than fifteen years ago titled Stirrin’ Up the Water and plans to work on his second sacred album before long. In fact, he’s got so much to keep him busy it may be beneficial for his own projects if Buffett does take a break.

It’s easy to see how much he enjoys life as a musician and the people with whom he collaborates. Peter wrapped up our interview commenting on Buffett and his fellow Coral Reefers saying “You don’t often find that many people you can be with for that many years and still see that kind of quality.” Rest assured we all are looking forward to whatever musical endeavors Peter Mayer focuses on in the future.

Keep up with Peter Mayer and his upcoming tour dates, projects and music on his website!


  • Cindy Bates Muir

    I live in Port Aransas, Texas and love all things Parrot Head and Trop Rock. I enjoy interviewing Trop Rock artists, attending events and always look forward to seeing Trop Rock friends from around the nation! Author of the Trop Rock lyric infused cozy mystery book "Schooled for Murder." Check out my website at

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  1. Steve Mitchell says:

    Great article!

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