My Mayer love is well documented. If you search the John Mayer tag on this blog, you’ll find many a tidbit concerning the young guitar hero. I’m really not fangirly over Mayer…I mean he’s cute and all, has a wicked sense of humor, and lives the most enviable life, but more and more I gravitate to JM for the music.
I still find myself migrating back to Continuum tracks when I’m surfing my iPod on plane trips. Good music does that. It beckons listeners back to visit and enjoy. Now, I know that there are MANY Mayer haters out there (several have visited this blog), that think Mayer is a sell-out and even go so far as to call him “untalented”. Sorry, but I can’t go there with you. Mayer’s guitar prowess, alone, commands respect of the music appreciater. Whether you like the dude or not, his talent is proven.
Besides, he is not in the generic mold of the current day Pop Star. From his famously big mouth (sardonic & sarcastic) to his unconventional “style” (arm sleeve tattoos and ever-changing hair style), John Mayer is a non-conformist. Mayer has been able to expand and explore other genres, despite his label trying to keep him constrained to high-selling “pop”. He can do this because his audience accepts it and even demands it, giving him the leverage to basically do what he wants. That’s how big talents roll.
Ray Charles didn’t stay confined to blues and R&B. He ventured deep into Country, traditional Adult Contemporary, and even a little Rock & Roll. He did so and was readily accepted because the audience loved and appreciated his TALENT. I see John Mayer in the same way. And, before you submit some snarky comment….NO, I’m not saying that John Mayer is on par with Ray Charles. At least, not yet. However, he has proven his music ability which has given him the leverage to expand his horizons and that IS in the same vein as the great RC.
Perfect example is Mayer’s alter ego, The John Mayer Trio and their foray into heavy blues, jazz, and “standards”. I was so pleasantly surprised to find this gem from Mayer’s traditional Thanksgiving night visit to David Letterman. Normally, I would balk on a “pretender” trying to cover Sinatra on one of my favorite Sinatra tunes, but Mayer takes it and makes it his own, without bastardizing or dramatically retarding the song and its wonderful essence.
Wee Small Hours of the Morning