When I ask people what they think of John Mayer I recognize two constantly repeating answers. The first is that he’s a great musician but to much of a pop singer and the second is that he’s great. It it’s different and the answer’s background often has to do with musical background or knowledge in music. What he really is and what we think of him is of course dependent on personal experience, but if we look behind and try to educate the unknowledgeable and not caring or if we try to explain to well educated what John Mayer is.
Mayer was originally schooled as a classical guitarist but always had a lot of love for the genre of blues. After a short time spend on Berklee College of Music in Boston, Mayer moved to Atlanta where he gained a lot roots and experience that started his early music career. He was a well known act in the nightclubs circuit of Atlanta and it was around this time that Mayer got signed by Aware Records and released his first full length album ‘Room For Squares’ with hits like ‘Neon’ and the grammy winning ‘Your Body Is A Wonderland’. It was first after his ‘Heavier Things’ in 2003 that Mayer considered his fame that big that he dared to change his concept which lead to the forming of ‘The John Mayer Trio’ in 2005.
About his past and background Mayer says following in his Live Concert/Documentary ‘Where The Light Is: Live in Los Angeles’ from 2008: ‘I come from playing guitar in alone in a room, that’s my story... I must have played alone in a room for eight years’. That’s the schooling that makes us understand the basic fundamentals of John Mayer. After his debut with the Trio where Mayer started to convey his musical roots into his music that he was making. When Mayer talks about the start of the Trio he says that it was an antidote that helped him get rid of the cornered feeling he felt that had gotten to with his pop melodies.
Shortly after the debut of ‘The Trio’, Mayer got back with his band and created ‘Continuum’ that was released in 2006. Keeping his pop sensibility, he brought on many of the influences from ‘The Trio’ and mixed it together to a mellow, blues, melodic critical success. During this time Mayer has shown us many sides of himself, an acoustic, a blues and a pop man hidden in the shy and mysterious personality of John Mayer. When Mayer talks about how he wants his career he simply says that he enjoys when you get something in your grasp, he says: ‘Once you caught it, you throw it back into the water and that’s really what I want to do my whole career’.
Mayer has pulled off everything from his own pop melodic love songs to Hendrix’s ‘Bold As Love’ and ‘Who Did You Think I Was’ including his last year acoustic cover of Tom Petty’s, ‘Free Falling’. Through all this Mayer has showed a calmer side and with his biggest hit ‘Waiting On The World To Change’, people of all musical circles always has something to say about Mayer and artists in all genres have worked with Mayer, including Hip-Hop Artist Kanye West to the blues legends Buddy Guy and B.B King.
Mayers blues influences and great interest to the world as far as politics goes is a growing subject matter for Mayer. With humor his personality has made the reputation of Mayer to be a perfectionist and sometimes a arrogant man, still inside the head of this man lies different music styles that only can be compared to the personalities of folk singer/songwriter or legend Bob Dylan. With a touch of humor Mayer claims that no one have seen all of him. Mayer likes to play with music and he is an explorer of importance as being one of few musicians bringing the heavier influences of Blues and Rock into the pop music today and as a better guitarist than singer he has really showed the basic fundamentals of being from the roots of great music pays off, he is a symbol to the instrumental, basics of learning and that’s why I choose to totally love the music of Mayer, together with his original sound, influences and depth.
The Records of John Mayer; 'Inside Wants Out' (1999), 'Room For Squares' (2001), 'Any Given Thursday' (Live), 'Heavier Things' (2003), 'Try! John Mayer Trio Live Concert' (2005), 'Continuum' (2006), 'Village Session' (2007) & 'Where The Light Is: John Mayer Live in Los Angeles' (2008).