Sept. 22, 2005

John Mayer Trio Hits House of Blues on Debut Tour

By Randy J. Klodz

Grammy-winning recording artist John Mayer has wowed crowds with his pop hits, but has since joined forces with his blues guitar prowess and, for the time being, has put aside his pop music success to showcase his full range of guitar skills. John Mayer Trio’s first full tour played to a sold-out House of Blues crowd in Chicago on Sept. 22.

John Mayer Trio—which includes John Mayer (vocals, guitar), Pino Palladino (bass) and Steve Jordan (drums)—graced Chicago fans with something they’ve been used to for generations, plenty of blues.

But nearly two hours of blues rock might not be what the typical John Mayer fan was looking for or maybe it was. A few fans groaned following John Mayer Trio’s set, some complained about not being able to recognize many songs of the set, while a majority basked in the chance to hear John Mayer jam with his pals as the John Mayer Trio.

Not only sporting longer hair than most John Mayer fans have become used to, John Mayer took the House of Blues stage wearing a purple sport coat and blue jeans and was graced with the presence of his new bandmates.

While John Mayer fans looking for a set dominated by John Mayer pop hits such as “No Such Thing” and “Your Body is a Wonderland” might have been disappointed—though John Mayer Trio did perform the John Mayer hit “Daughters” from his 2003 hit album “Heavier Things”—John Mayer Trio’s rather unknown material struck a chord with most in attendance.

While echoing snipets of popular songs such as Ben Harper’s “Steal My Kisses” and Kanye West’s “Gold Digger,” which was originally recorded by Ray Charles, John Mayer Trio unleashed the song “Another Kind of Green,” as well as whipping out theRay Charles’ blues classic “I Don’t Need No Doctor,” among other jamming tracks.

A surprised crowd roared five songs into the John Mayer Trio set when blues legend, and Chicago-native Buddy Guy took the stage as John Mayer and Buddy Guy traded blues licks to the joy of the sold-out crowd. John Mayer somehow convinced Buddy Guy to take the mic, and the longest song of the set, which was also being recorded for a live DVD, beamed.

Although John Mayer Trio’s album isn’t expected to hit stores until November, eager fans can access new John Mayer Trio songs “Come When I Call” and “Who Did You Think I Was” from iTunes.

The current John Mayer Trio tour is scheduled to run through Oct. 11 when the John Mayer Trio invades Boston’s Avalon. For more info on John Mayer or John Mayer Trio log on to www.johnmayer.com.

John Mayer Trio Photo: Tom Munro