John Mayer

The middle of three children, John Mayer grew up in the 1980s near Bridgeport, Connecticut. As a young boy, Mayer was wowed by Michael J. Fox’s performance of the Chuck Berry classic, “Johnny B. Goode” in the movie “Back to the Future”. After seeing the movie, a very young Mayer took up the guitar and began listening to artists like Jimi Hendrix, Sting, and his personal idol, Stevie Ray Vaughn.

By the time Mayer was sixteen the precocious performer was honing his performance chops by playing in local East Coast blues bars. By the time Mayer was an eighteen-year-old senior year in high school, he had joined a short-lived high school band.

After leaving Boston, Mayer relocated to Atlanta, Georgia, where he became a regular at songwriter nights around the city. Mayer worked the clubs by night and sent out countless demo discs of original material by day.

Mayer self-released his debut recording, Inside Wants Out, in 1999. The following March, Mayer appeared at the South by Southwest Music Festival inAustin,Texas. Mayer’s performance so impressed executives at Columbia Records that he was subsequently signed to Columbia subsidiary, Aware Records.

Mayer’s star continued to rise, and in 2003 he was awarded a Grammy for Best Pop Vocal Performance for his hit song “Your Body Is A Wonderland.” Later in the same year, Mayer released his third album, Heavier Things to critical acclaim. Two Grammies would follow for this album. One repeat award, for Best Pop Vocal Performance, and another for his hit from Heavier Things, the single “Daughters.”

After touring the world, John was invited to perform at Eric Clapton’s Crossroads Festival in 2004. It was there that Mayer took the same stage with guitar legends B.B. King, J.J. Cale, Hubert Sumlin, Buddy Guy, Carlos Santana, and Clapton himself.

Mayer not only showed he had been paying attention to his guitar-playing predecessors, but that he had plenty new to show as well.