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John Mayer’s Transition from Pop Star to Guitar Icon

Austin City Limits, Standup Comedy

Teenybopper pop star or credible guitar hero? Those seem to be the two areas that people place John Mayer when they discuss his merits as a musician.

Mayer burst on to the national scene in 2001 with his major label debut ‘Room For Squares.’ The album gained serious momentum as Mayer made the rounds on late night talk shows. His performance of the song ‘Neon’ on Carson Daly’s show displayed his incredible guitar playing skills. His talent as a guitarist, however, was not what would promote the album. His pop appeal would be the driving force behind the promotion for ‘Room For Squares.’

The most memorable hits from ‘Room For Squares’ were ‘No Such Thing’ and ‘Your Body Is A Wonderland.’ During their time as singles, just about any teenage girl in America could recite their lyrics word for word. Mayer appeared to be on his way to becoming a pop superstar.

Mayer’s style would change significantly with his second album, ‘Heavier Things.’ The pop sound that had been all over his debut wasn’t as prevalent. Mayer also began appearing on more mature television shows like PBS’ ‘Austin City Limits.’ He also began frolicking around with guitar icons like Eric Clapton and Buddy Guy.

In 2005, Mayer would step away from pop music completely to release ‘Try.’ It was a live recording that heavily featured his guitar playing and had a strong blues influence. Mayer recorded the album with formidable musicians Steve Jordan and Pino Palladino. It was a strong break away from the music that had made Mayer so popular, but it proved to be a smart move because Mayer gained so much credibility with the project.

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That credibility would carry over to Mayer’s latest album, 2006’s ‘Continuum.’ ‘Continuum’ is a remarkable rock album that will be viewed as John Mayer’s breakout release. It features a variety of styles, from blues to soul. It was one of the best albums from 2006, earned Mayer two Grammy awards, and solidified his status as a guitar icon.

One of John Mayer’s best attributes is his ability to impress on stage. John has toured rigorously since his debut album was released and he has earned the reputation of being a premiere live act. His shows feature incredible singing, sharp guitar playing, and even some comic relief (John is also pursuing standup comedy).

Although John Mayer was first introduced to the world as a pop musician, his amazing talent has overtaken his pop appeal. John Mayer is an amazing musician and an amazing performer. With his youth and talent, John Mayer figures to be around for a very long time.