John Mayer may be a hot Alternative Rock musician from the icy north but he is a true Texas Blues master. In fact on John Mayer's albums, which are excellent, we only get a really good taste of what a true guitar virtuoso he is. It is at his live performances where the true John Mayer shows himself – and lucky for you he’s currently touring in support of 2009’s Battle Studies and Coast to Coast has the tickets you want to be there. You are going to want tickets to a John Mayer concert after you read this.
John Mayer grew up in Connecticut listening to pop radio until, at age 13, he discovered blues music when a neighbor gave him a Stevie Ray Vaughan tape. Mayer picked up a guitar, and within two years he was performing at local blues bars, stunning audiences with an amazingly mature style of playing. But he soon realized that the world of guitar virtuosity was not for him.
Mayer dedicated himself to developing his songwriting skills, toning down the guitar pyrotechnics in favor of memorable melodies and distinctive rhythmic textures. At 19 he enrolled at Berklee College of Music but realized in a matter of months that he was more interested in playing music than studying it. A friend from Atlanta convinced him to head south, and Mayer soon became a regular at such Atlanta songwriters' nightspots as Eddie's Attic. In 1999 he released Inside Wants Out, an album consisting mostly of solo acoustic renditions of his energetic, earnest songs, as well as several tracks recorded with a full band.
The local press soon discovered Mayer: "This young man knows how to captivate a crowd with his six-string guitar and honest lyrics," wrote Atlanta CitySearch. The Atlanta Journal Constitution saw all the makings of a star as they described Mayer's qualities, "sophisticated, accessible folk rock sound dominated by striking acoustic guitar playing, video-ready looks and a sizable grass-roots following born in clubs across the South."
In March 2000, Mayer headed to Austin, Texas, to perform at the South By Southwest Music Conference and afterwards was courted by several record labels, eventually signing with Aware/Columbia Records. He began recording his major label debut in the fall with producer John Alagia (Dave Matthews Band, Ben Folds Five). The album, entitled Room For Squares, is a full-band electric effort. Mayer was joined in the studio by bassist David LaBruyere as well as drummer Nir Zidkiyahu (Genesis, Alana Davis).
Mayer gained an incredibly fervent fanbase during his tour to support Room For Squares, receiving a Grammy nomination in 2002 for Best New Artist, and being hailed as the next Dave Matthews. Comparing John Mayer to musicians like Dave Matthews serves well to describe his songwriting and style, but a comparison to Stevie Ray Vaughn covers Mayer's level of talent and relaxed stage presence. His songwriting skills are paramount. Songs like "Wonderland," "3x5," "Back to You" and "My Stupid Mouth" are reflective stories of soulful experiences and deep uncomplicated emotions.
When you see him perform these songs, you perceive everything he describes and know his next lyric by the feeling in your heart. Now, buy your tickets to the next John Mayer concert--you owe it to yourself.
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