About John Mayer
Singer/songwriter, bluesman, pop star, guitar hero, R&B crooner—John Mayer is a bundle of personalities that are nearly impossible to reconcile. His initial run of albums, beginning with his 2003 debut, Room for Squares, and capping with Battle Studies in 2009, established him as a chart-topping heartthrob. Deft fretwork is there, certainly, yet it’s the husky whisper, sexual tension, and effortless hooks that make him one of the preeminent artists of the 2000s. Onstage, it’s a different story, however. Mayer’s tightly crafted hits loosen up and stretch out, revealing his roots in classic rock, soul, and blues. It’s this John Mayer who takes center stage in the 2010s. Pop still makes appearances, but on Born and Raised and Paradise Valley, he goes all in, serving up pedal-steel-inflected ballads haunted by hippie California. In this context, Mayer teaming up with surviving members of the Grateful Dead to form Dead & Company in 2015 makes total sense. Playing the role of Jerry Garcia opposite Bob Weir, he transforms into a guitar guru, weaving psychedelic tapestries night after night for Deadheads across the United States. But just as fans get used to an older and wiser Mayer seemingly easing into the jam-band lifestyle, he doubles back and drops the 2018 single “New Light,” a slice of purring, disco-inspired pop that could be credited to a neo-soul star barely out of their teens.
BORNOctober 16, 1977