John Mayer

I\’ve only just heard of John Mayer (yeah, I know, really up to date I am) and I was really rather surprised.

He did a version of Stevie Ray Vaughan\’s \”Lenny\”:

Here\’s a live version of the original.

Now is it just me being picky or does Mayer not quite manage to carry it off? He sounds to me (and I\’m certainly no expert) to be struggling a little bit with a piece that is simply too technically complex for him.

Not being able to play like Stevie Ray is of course no shame. But am I the only person to hear it this way?

5 comments on “John Mayer

  1. Well, it’s not just technical complexity, it’s more that SRV’s stuff pretty much requires a certain style of playing, in the same way that Lindsey Buckingham’s does, or Mark Knopfler’s. If you don’t play in that style, either you bluff it and fail, or you apply your own style and often – as in this case – also “fail”.

    The mistake, in my view, is in playing a SRV song in SRV’s style. If he’d taken just the basis of the song and interpreted it in his own way, it would probably have been more listenable.

  2. Mayer is copying a piece which SRV says is dedicated to his wife, so that’s a bit weird. Mayer copies it well (I play guitar and am impressed) but the SRV clip is so good that you wonder why anyone would bother trying to emulate it.

    The thing is, SRV is copying Jimi Hendrix – the hammers on and the pull-offs and the tone. Listen to any version of “Little Wing” and then listen to this. Not a criticism of SRV – he would have said the same. But listening to Mayer copying Vaughan channeling Hendrix channeling Curtis Mayfield, Pops Staples, a whole bunch of them – nah.

  3. Mayer is copying a piece which SRV says is dedicated to his wife, so that’s a bit weird. Mayer copies it well (I play guitar and am impressed) but the SRV clip is so good that you wonder why anyone would bother trying to emulate it.

    The thing is, SRV is copying Jimi Hendrix – the hammers on and the pull-offs and the tone. Listen to any version of “Little Wing” and then listen to this. Not a criticism of SRV – he would have said the same. But listening to Mayer copying Vaughan channeling Hendrix channeling Curtis Mayfield, Pops Staples, a whole bunch of them – nah.

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