John Mayer

John Mayer

    After a successful stint as an independent artist and an underground hit album (Inside Wants Out)John Mayer busted out in 2001 with his major label debut Room For Squares. A singer/songwriter/guitarist apparently in the mold of Dave Matthews, Mayer won critical raves for his acoustic rock and won fans (mostly women) with his good looks and his smash hit "Your Body Is A Wonderland." The album demonstrated a young artist with a keen sense of melody and accessibility, as most clearly shown on the insanely catchy cut "No Such Thing."

    Mayer followed with the equally successful Heavier Things in 2003, winning his second Grammy for the song "Daughters." However, despite the tendency for music followers to label him just another Matthews wannabe, Mayer spent the next few years following his passion for blues. He collaborated with Eric Clapton, B.B. King and others, and eventually formed his own blue trio (with Steve Jordan and Pino Palladino), resulting in the release of Try, a live blues album, in 2005. Said Mayer, "As a songwriter, the Trio helped me focus on being more raw," he says. "As a guitar player, it helped me get a lot out of my system."

    Almost immediately, he began working on his third studio album, Continuum, released in September 2006 on Columbia. It was a masterpiece, its insightful lyrics thrusting Mayer into the role of Gen Y spokesman.  It spawned the hit "Waiting for the World to Change" and was nominated for a Best Album Grammy Award. It also raised Mayer's profile to make him one of the elite of adult rock and soul, highlighted by a Grammy performance in 2007 with John Legend and Corinne Bailey Rae.

    Mayer returned to the studio in 2009, issuing the album Battle Studies in November of that year. It was not the equal of Continuum but was musically solid and debuted at #1.

    By Chris Rizik

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