The guitarist, John Mayer is a big name in America, while over in the UK he doesn't appear to be such a household name. However i believe everyone should know the wonderful works of this amazing musician.
The first time i heard John Mayer's music was when a friend sent me his live acoustic cover of Tom Petty's 'Free Falling' from his live album 'Where the Light Is'. As soon as i started listening to the song i was truly memorized by the beautiful, rich tone to John's voice, also the way he has changed the electric guitar parts adopted in the original version into ones that perfectly suited the acoustic guitar and steel guitar blew me away. The occasional backing vocals from the two other guitarist gave the song a very mellow and calm feel while adding strength to the lead vocals. When it comes to the bridge, the guitar is strummed clearly on the ofbeat of the 4/4 beat with little fills from all the guitarists in turn which creates a professional and experienced aura between the 3 musicians on stage.
After hearing 'Free Falling' i went out and brought the whole 'Where the Light Is' Live in Los Angeles CD. A particular favorite of mine being the song 'Gravity'; the way the song builds up gradually throughout the blissful 9 minutes into a truly memorizing guitar solo and ending with a prolonged drum crescendo takes my breath away.
John Mayer is a truly amazing guitarist worthy of one day being considered a musical legend in the same category as Eric Clapton and Jimmy Page, 'Free Falling' along with other acoustic songs on the live album such as 'Neon' and 'Stop this Train' inspired me so much with its steel string guitar playing that i later went out and brought a Cort Steel String Acoustic of my own in an attempt to recreate the same enriching sounds as heard in the album, it's not the same standard guitar as Mayer plays on stage, however Ive fallen in love with its the rich and gutsy tones the steel strings creates.
John Mayer has been the biggest inspiration to me as a guitarist and if i had not discovered this amazing musician the guitar as an instrument would not have such a broad appeal to me.