If you are a frequent reader of this website, then you are likely well-versed in John Mayer’s blues contributions. His contributions to blues music are often overlooked by non-guitar heads over his pop success. Except guitar heads know just how well-versed John is with the blues. Let’s dive into 3 of John Mayer’s best blues songs.
What are the best John Mayer blues songs? The three best John Mayer blues songs are Ain’t No Sunshine, Blues Intro, and Out of My Mind. Each song contains melodic and complex blues licks and emotions that drive the songs throughout their entirety.
Continue reading to find out if John Mayer has a dedicated blues album as well as how these three songs were chosen as the best John Mayer blues songs.
Does John Mayer Have a Blues Album?
Technically speaking, John Mayer does not have a studio blues album. Although, he does have a live album with the John Mayer Trio that has a large emphasis on the blues. This album is called Try!-Live in Concert and is the closest thing to a blues album that John Mayer has.
On this album there are blues songs like Bold as Love, Who Did You Think I Was, Out of My Mind, Another Kind of Green, I Got a Women, etc. With songs like these, it is no wonder why John Mayer called the group “power rocking, electric guitar, in-your-face blues.”
His other live album called Where The Light Is also has a variety of blues songs.
3 Best John Mayer Blues Songs:
The three best John Mayer blues songs are:
- Ain’t No Sunshine
- Blues Intro
- Out of My Mind
Please also note that this list is subjective, that being said, a poll was sent out and the results were heavily considered in this list.
1. Ain’t No Sunshine
The best John Mayer song/cover is Ain’t No Sunshine. Created by Bill Withers, the song debuted in 1971 on the album Just As I Am. Since then, many guitarists have tried to cover this iconic song, some with great success and others that produced a note for note copy. John’s version is one of the best covers of any song I have ever heard.
Discover How John Mayer Writes Music Here
The fingerpicking method that John made famous reveals itself during this live cover. The song starts slow, as it normally does, and gradually picks up speed. Throughout the song, in B.B. King’s fashion, Mayer is singing with the guitar. He matches his vocal pitches with the guitar to create a melody that is extremely pleasing to the ear.
Let’s talk about the solo because that is a major aspect of what makes this such a great blues song. In the solo, John sprinkles the styles of his influences throughout. A big one in this solo is Albert King. High E bends that are fast with a quick transition down a couple of notes is an iconic Albert King lick that John uses a couple of times in this solo. At the 5:09 minute mark, John shows his guitar mastery. He starts tapping the fretboard with his strumming hand, an extremely difficult technique.
You rarely hear the mix of B.B. King, Albert King, and Stevie Ray Vaughan all in one solo. Combine that with John Mayer’s own unique style and you have this perfect blues cover.
It is impossible to talk about this performance without talking about Steve Jordan (the drummer) and Pino Palladino (bassist). Steve’s pocket is one of the tightest I have ever seen and allows John to truly flourish with a boundless amount of space. A wise man once said that metronomes practice their time-keeping to Steve Jordan’s playing.
2. Blues Intro
The second-best John Mayer blues song is Blues Intro. This song/rendition was performed on July 24th, 2005 at Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion in Texas. This song is part of a live album called As/Is.
In 2005, John had developed much of his style, although the influenced style of Stevie Ray Vaughan was much more present during this time than present-day John Mayer who has developed much more of his sound. This is exemplified in this blues song. Especially during the middle of the song when the pace picks up and the raking becomes harder. Particularly at the one-minute mark, Stevie’s influence is showcased.
The song follows the traditional 1-4-5 blues progression. In my opinion, this song is an exemplification of blues guitar mastery. Not one note is missed, it is perfectly in time, and the tempo varies. The song has complex and unique blues riffs, most of which are improvised by Mayer.
Is John Mayer a Blues Guitarist or More? Find Out Here
Despite there being no vocals in the song, the guitar sings like there are. Similar to Ain’t No Sunshine, this song is very much a mix of Albert King and Stevie Ray Vaughan.
3. Out of My Mind
The third best John Mayer blues song is Out of My Mind. This song was performed and recorded on December 8th, 2007. This recorded concert became known as Where The Light Is and was a promotional tour for Continuum. Although, John had two main sections of this album. One with and one without the blues trio. This fantastic blues song was performed with the John Mayer Trio.
This original John Mayer song is a notorious slow blues. The intro guitar part last 2 minutes and 30 seconds and consists of slow melodic blues riffs that vary in pace. It is obvious that Muddy Waters and B.B. King had a heavy influence on John via this song.
There is something different about a slow blues song. They contain the most feel and emotions. This is especially the case at the five-minute mark. It is just gritty, emotional, raw blues guitar that gives you goosebumps.
This is my personal favorite John Mayer song but the other two above got voted by my guitar peers above this one.
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