John Mayer

listening to music this morning….

and pondering entertainment vs. substance.

sometimes i like to be entertained.  i’ll watch a brainless movie with only the expectation of laughing.  i’ll read a fiction book for pure entertainment.  i’ll listen to music that is fun to dance to or brings fond memories of the past.

sometimes i like substance.  i want what i’m watching or listening to to mean something or have some artistic merit.  i want the movie to have a message.  i want the book to challenge me to change.  i want the music to have great lyrical depth and musical sophistication.

i got to thinking why do these two things have to be mutually exclusive.  often they are.  i mean something can’t be entertaining and deep right?  or can it?

what prompted this question?  well i was listening to this guy…

i’m highly entertained by Frank Sinatra.  his songs make me happy.  i sing along…yet, his artistry is amazing.  the level of quality that the arrangements and vocals display are still the standard even today.  i mean for goodness sakes people compare Jay Z to him (although i think that is a stretch)

then i got to thinking about this guy….

John Mayer is able to transcend this entertainment vs. substance idea.  he is loved by critics and soccer moms alike.  his ability to rip on guitar impresses musicians and his songwriting is par excellent.  his boyish looks and interaction with fans makes him accessible to everyone.

so who do you think can pull this off.  which artist, movie maker, author, musician can be both entertaining and yet retain artistic integrity and substance?

let me hear your thoughts.

well since i still haven’t written that “grammy” post yet…

i thought i might continue with something i started yesterday…

for the next little bit, i’m going to write about my favorite guitar players…

these might be obscure session guys, or some guitar player from a band.  or they may be some huge global artist.

genre doesn’t matter because a great guitar player is a great guitar player, so here we go.

This guy has to be my FAVORITE artist in addition to being an amazing guitar player….yes i’m talking about….



now let me say.  i think John is an amazing blues/rock electric player, but what originally drew me to him was his ability to make an acoustic guitar sing.   specifically on this song.

that is such a young, fresh faced John.

i literally wore out the “Room for Squares” album and thought to myself how can this guy top himself?  then he comes out with “Heavier Things”, the John Mayer Trio and finally what i think might be some of his finest work “Continuum”.  i even have his indie album “inside wants out”.  i think i have pretty much every song he’s done that is on CD or iTunes.

i love the way he plays on this song “Heart of Life”

one of my favorite things he has ever done is team up with Brad Paisley (spoiler alert!!!!future post) to do CMT CrossRoads.  since you can’t find any video footage from CMT (cheap jerks) then all you get is audio and pictures.  enjoy “Why Georgia”