Mayer began his career performing mainly acoustic rock, but
gradually began a transition towards the blues genre in 2005 by
collaborating with renowned blues artists such as B. B. King, Buddy
Guy, and Eric Clapton, and by forming the John Mayer Trio. The blues
influence can be heard on his album Continuum, released in September
2006. At the 49th Annual Grammy Awards in 2007 Mayer won Best Pop
Vocal Album for Continuum and Best Male Pop Vocal Performance for
"Waiting on the World to Change". Mayer's career pursuits have
extended to stand-up comedy, design, and writing; he has written
pieces for magazines, most notably for Esquire. He is also involved
in philanthropic activities through his "Back to You" fund and his
concern over global warming.
John Mayer was born in Bridgeport, Connecticut he was enrolled in
the Center for Global Studies at Brien McMahon High School in
Norwalk for his junior year. (Then known as the Center for Japanese
Studies Abroad, it is a magnet program for students wanting to learn
Japanese. During an appearance on Late Night with Conan O'Brien, he
said that he had played the clarinet for a while in middle school,
with minor success. After watching Michael J. Fox's guitar
performance as Marty McFly in Back to the Future, he became
fascinated with the instrument. Subsequently, when Mayer was 13, his
father rented one for him.
Soon after Mayer got his guitar, a neighbor gave him a Stevie Ray
Vaughan cassette, which began Mayer’s intense love of the
blues.Despite the reservations of his parents, Mayer became consumed
with playing the guitar, and after two years of practice, he started
playing at blues bars and other venues in the area, while in high
school. In addition to performing alone, he was in a band
called Villanova Junction with Tim Procaccini, Joe Beleznay, and
John Mayer enrolled in the Berklee College of Music in Boston,
Massachusetts, at the age of nineteen. After two semesters, he chose
to cut his studies short, and at the urging of his college friend
and Atlanta native, Clay Cook, the two moved to Altlanta, Georgia.
Quickly making a name for their two-man band, LoFi Masters, they
began their career in earnest there, frequenting the local coffee
house and club circuit in venues like Eddie's Attic. Cook has said,
however, that they began to experience musical differences due to
Mayer’s desire to take the duo in more of a pop direction. The two
parted ways, and Mayer embarked on a solo career.
With the help of local producer and engineer Glenn Matullo, Mayer
recorded the independent EP Inside Wants Out. Cook is also cited as
the co-writer of many of the songs from the EP, most notably,
Mayer's first commercial single release, "No Such Thing". The EP
includes only eight songs, all with Mayer on lead vocals and
guitars, with the exception of “Comfortable” in which Mayer only
recorded the vocals. For the opening track, “Back To You”, a full
band was enlisted, including the EP’s co-producer David "DeLa"
LaBruyere on bass guitars. Mayer and LaBruyere then began to
tour throughout Georgia and the surrounding states.
John Mayer Stopped By To Pick Up A Couple Of Highly Customized Guitars
John is one of the few newer guitar players out there who is really doing some
John Mayer is one of my homeboys from Connecticut.
John is a true innovator, a great player & consummate musician
I predict he will be one of the few guitarists from the post 2000 era that will
still be big in 30 years!
He is what you call Superstar Material !!!!
Ed Roman 2009
Ed Roman & John Mayer In Ed's Office August 2009
Major label success
Mayer’s reputation began to build, and a March 2000 appearance at
South by Southwest brought him to the attention of "launch"
label, Aware Records. After including him in the Aware Festival
concerts and having his songs included on Aware compilations, in
early 2001, Aware released Mayer’s internet-only album entitled,
Room for Squares. During that time, Aware inked a deal with Columbia
Records that gave Columbia first pick in signing Aware artists, and
so in September of the same year, Columbia remixed and re-released
Room for Squares. As part of the major label "debut", the album's
artwork was updated, and the track "3x5" was added. The re-release
also included reworked studio versions of the first four songs from
his indie album, Inside Wants Out.
In 2003, Mayer released a live CD and DVD of a concert in
Birmingham, Alabama entitled, Any Given Thursday.
The concert featured songs previously not recorded, such as "Man on
the Side" (co-written with Cook) and "Something's Missing", which
later appeared on Heavier Things. The concert also included "Covered
In Rain". According to the accompanying DVD documentary, this song
is "part two" of the song "City Love", which features the line
"covered in rain". Commercially, the album quickly peaked at number
seventeen on the Billboard 200 chart. The CD/DVD received
conservative, although consistent, praise, with critics torn between
his pop-idol image, and (at the time) emerging guitar prowess. Erik
Crawford (of Allmusic) asked "Is he the consummate guitar hero
exemplified when he plays a cover of Stevie Ray Vaughan's 'Lenny',
or is he the teen idol that the pubescent girls shriek for after he
plays 'Your Body Is a Wonderland?'"
Heavier Things, Mayer's second album, was released in 2003 to
generally favorable reviews. Rolling Stone, Allmusic and Blender all
gave positive, although reserved, feedback. Pop Matters said that it
"doesn't have as many drawbacks as one might assume".The album was
commercially successful, and while it did not sell as well as Room
for Squares, it peaked at number one on the US Billboard 200 chart.
Mayer earned his first number one single with the song "Daughters"
as well as a 2005 Grammy for Song of the Year, beating out fellow
contenders Alicia Keys and Kanye West. He dedicated the award to his
grandmother, Annie Hoffman, who died in May 2004. He also won Best
Male Pop Vocal Performance, beating Elvis Costello, Prince, and Seal
for the award. In his February 9 2009 interview on The Ellen
DeGeneres Show, Mayer said that he thought he shouldn't have won the
Grammy for Song of the year because he thought that Alicia Keys' If
I Ain't Got You was the better song. Because of this, he removed the
top half of the Grammy and gave it to Keys, and kept the bottom part
for himself. At the 37th Annual Songwriters Hall of Fame
Induction Ceremony in 2006, Mayer was honored with the Hal David
Mayer again recorded live concerts across seven nights of his U.S.
tour in 2004. These recordings were released to the iTunes music
store under the title as/is, indicating that the errors were
included along with the good moments. A few months later, a "best
of" CD was compiled from the as/is nights. The album included a
previously unreleased cover of Marvin Gaye's song "Inner City Blues
(Make Me Wanna Holler)", featuring a solo from Mayer's support
act—jazz and blues turntablist, DJ Logic. All the album covers of
the as/is releases feature drawings of anthropomorphic bunnies.
in musical direction
Mayer began to collaborate extensively, often working with artists
outside of his own genre. He appeared on Common's song "Go!" and on
Kanye West's "Bittersweet Poetry" Following these collaborations,
Mayer received praise from rap heavyweights Jay-Z and Nelly.When
asked about his presence in the hip hop community, Mayer said, "It's
not music out there right now. That's why, to me, hip-hop is where
rock used to be.
It was around this time that Mayer began hinting a change in his
musical interests, announcing that he was "closing up shop on
acoustic sensitivity. In 2005, he began a string of collaborations
with various blues artists, including Buddy Guy, B.B. King, Eric
Clapton, as well as jazz artist John Scofield. He also went on tour
with legendary jazz pianist Herbie Hancock, which included a show at
the Bonnaroo Music Festival in Manchester, Tennessee. These
collaborations led to recordings with several of these artists,
namely, Clapton (Back Home, Crossroads Guitar Festival), Guy (Bring
'Em In), Scofield (That's What I Say), and King . Although Mayer has
maintained a reputation for being a sensitive singer-songwriter, he
has also gained distinction as an accomplished guitarist, influenced
by the likes of the above artists, as well as Jimi Hendrix, Stevie
Ray Vaughan, Robert Cray, and Freddie King.
In the spring of 2005, Mayer formed the John Mayer Trio with bassist
Pino Palladino and drummer Steve
Jordan, both of whom he had met through previous studio sessions.
The trio played a combination of blues and rock music. In October
2005, the Trio opened for The Rolling Stones during a sold-out club
tour of their own, and that November, released a live album called
Try! The band took a break in mid-2006. In September 2006, Mayer
announced plans for the Trio to begin work on a future studio album.
Mayer's latest album, entitled Continuum, was released on September
12, 2006, and was produced by Mayer himself and Steve Jordan. Mayer
suggested the album was intended to combine his signature pop music
with the feel, sound, groove, and sensibilities of the blues. In
that vein, two of the tracks from his trio release Try!—the funky
"Vultures" and the blues centerpiece "Gravity"—also were included on
Continuum. Mayer has said that "Gravity" is the most important song
he's ever written.
The first single from Continuum was "Waiting on the World to
Change," which debuted on The Ron and Fez Show. The song was the
third most downloaded song of the week on the iTunes Music Store
following its release on July 11, 2006, and debuted at #25 on the
Billboard Hot 100 Chart. On August 23, 2006, Mayer debuted the
entire album on the Los Angeles radio station Star 98.7, giving
commentary on each track. A subsequent version was released the next
day on the Clear Channel Music website as a streaming sneak preview.
On September 21, 2006, Mayer appeared on CSI, playing "Waiting on
the World to Change" and "Slow Dancing in a Burning Room." The song
"Gravity" was featured on the television series House in the episode
"Cane & Able" and Numb3rs. He recorded a session for the British
program Live From Abbey Road at Abbey Road Studios on October 22,
December 7, 2006, Mayer was nominated for five 2007 Grammys,
including "Album of the Year." The John Mayer Trio also received a
nomination for their album, Try!. He won two: Best Pop Song with
Vocal for "Waiting on the World to Change" and Best Pop Album for
Continuum. Mayer remixed an acoustic version of his single "Waiting
on the World to Change" with vocal additions from fellow musician
Ben Harper. In preparation for recording Continuum, Mayer had booked
the Village Recorder in Los Angeles to record five demo acoustic
versions of his songs with veteran musician Robbie McIntosh. These
recordings became The Village Sessions, an EP released on December
12, 2006. As usual, Mayer oversaw the artwork of the release.
On November 20, 2007, the re-issue of Continuum became available
online and in stores. The release contains a bonus disc of six live
songs from his 2007 tour: five from Continuum and a cover of the Ray
Charles song "I Don't Need No Doctor." His new single, "Say," also
became available through iTunes. On December 6, 2007, "Belief" was
nominated for Best Male Pop Vocal for the 50th Annual Grammy Awards.
He accompanied Alicia Keys on guitar on her song "No One" at the
In February 2008, Mayer hosted a three-day Caribbean cruise event
that included performances with various musicians including David
Ryan Harris, Brett Dennen, and Colbie Caillat, among others. The
event was called "The Mayercraft Carrier" and was held aboard the
cruise ship known as the Carnival Victory. A follow up cruise titled
"Mayercraft Carrier 2" set sail from Long Beach, California on March
27-31, 2009 on the Carnival Splendor.
On July 1, 2008, Mayer released Where the Light Is a live concert
film of Mayer's performance at the Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on
December 8, 2007. The film was directed by Danny Clinch. It features
an acoustic set and a set with the John Mayer Trio, followed by a
set with John's band from the Continuum album. The DVD and Bluray
bonus material includes footage of Mayer backstage and playing
outside on Mulholland Drive.
CBS confirmed on January 14, 2009 that Mayer is in negotiations with
the station for a variety show. The details of the deal and the
nature of the show are yet unknown.
Mayer has recently collaborated with Australian soul artist Guy
Sebastian on three songs on his upcoming album "Like it Like That".
He also played guitar on the title track of Crosby Loggins's debut
LP, Time to Move, released on July 10, 2009.
On 7 July 2009, Mayer performed an instrumental guitar version of
Michael Jackson's "Human Nature" at Jackson's memorial service.
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