A teenage guitarist, John Mayer, was a Berklee College Of Music graduate who became known for frequenting songwriter spots in Atlanta. A self-released album of predominantly acoustic material drew favourable comparisons with multi-platinum acts such as Dave Matthews, but in truth these reviews were wide of the mark. Mayer has an assured brilliance on the guitar that is absent from most, if not all of his singer-songwriter contemporaries and drew admiring comments from luminaries including Eric Clapton and John Scofield. Having signed with Aware Records, Mayer recruited a full band and set about recording again. A relentless touring schedule helped the album along - and boosted his rep - while 2003's Heavier Things became a chart smash and earned the singer a Grammy Award for the evocative track, Daughters. Mayer subsequently contributed to recordings by B.B. King, Herbie Hancock and Buddy Guy. In 2016 he joined the remaining members of the Grateful Dead as Dead & Company - he slotted in to the Jerry Garcia position like a dream.
Followers: Justin Glanville, Gavin DeGraw
Influenced By: Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Bob Dylan
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