Friday, October 16, 2009

Birthday Salute and Quintessential Solo #3 -- John Mayer

Born 16th October 1977, John Mayer is one of those guys 'serious' musicians love to hate.

With a writing and singing style resembling an intraveneous feed into the very heart of pop radio, the man is a songwriting machine with a string of hits that don't seem to stop coming.

But dig a little deeper into his music and you'll hear a musician with a deep understanding of the blues guitar tradition. His playing is often compared to his idol, Stevie Ray Vaughan, but listen further and you'll hear shadings of Freddie King, T-Bone Walker and Albert King. With a little BB thrown in for good measure.

And what is really remarkable is how Mayer sneaks his guitar influences into his radio-friendly songs, weaving them around his vocals like a second voice -- in essence, representing his blues roots to his wide audience.

In this vid, Mayer shows us that he is not all just pop and fluff. He shows us what he's really capable of, with just a Stratocaster in hand.

Performing live at the Michael Jackson Memorial on 7th July 2009, Mayer performs a moving unaccompanied version of the Jackson hit, Human Nature.

Addressing the plaintive melody line on the upper strings, Mayer holds down the bassline with a Johnny Smith-approved thumb-over-the-neck technique. Check out the uncanny vocal quality of his guitar tone on the first phrase.

The cry that Carlos Santana often refers to is just dripping off his fingerboard.

(As a side note, check out also Tuck Andress' stunning solo guitar version of Human Nature on YouTube)

Buy John Mayer CDs Here!

1 comment:

  1. Wow! That was pretty cool. I dig his live versions of "Gravity".

    Tuck Andress is a monster!



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