Thanks to a total of eight studio albums that traverse the boundaries between mainstream pop and all-out blues, John Mayer has cemented his reputation as one of today’s most prolific solo artists – his most recent outing, Sob Rock, is merely the icing on the cake.
Behind every great solo artist, however, is a catalog of collaborations that have helped them reach new heights, push their boundaries and explore fresh avenues. Mayer’s own musical path has certainly been no different.
In fact, his current involvement with Dead & Company – undeniably Mayer’s most well-known collaborative project – is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg, with the electric guitar titan joining forces with a number of blues icons, pop behemoths, jazz extraordinaires and even a tech giant throughout the course of his guitar-playing career.
From Fall Out Boy to Thundercat, and Steve Jobs to Jay-Z, here are John Mayer’s top 10 musical – and not-so-musical – collaborations.
1. Buddy Guy and Double Trouble
In a moment of arrival, Mayer was joined by blues legend Guy and SRV’s band for a 2003 TV performance of his Heavier Things tune, Come Back To Bed.
2. Steve Jobs
Launching Apple’s new music software GarageBand in 2004, Jobs needed a modern guitar champ to demo the goods, and knew who to call...
3. Fall Out Boy
On 2008’s Live In Phoenix the rockers took on Michael Jackson’s Beat It, with soloist Mayer stepping into Eddie Van Halen’s scary sneakers...
4. Alicia Keys
In 2009, Mayer joined friend and frequent collaborator Keys for a stunning read of Bill Withers’ Ain’t No Sunshine, at the Black Ball charity event in New York City.
Guesting at the rap superstar’s 2009 concert at Madison Square Garden, Mayer gave blues-rock heft to the riff for D.O.A. (Death Of Auto Tune).
6. Eric Clapton
Along with Tom Petty, Mark Knopfler and Derek Trucks, Mayer was among Clapton’s friends on The Breeze, his heartfelt tribute album to JJ Cale.
7. Ed Sheeran
With a pink Jackson in hand, Mayer accompanied The Ginger One at his 2015 Grammy performance of hits Don’t and Thinking Out Loud.
8. Jimmie Vaughan, Gary Clark Jr. and Doyle Bramhall II
Mayer shared the stage with these other top bluesmen at SRV and Double Trouble’s induction into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in 2015.
9. Shawn Mendes
Mayer produced and added tasteful guitar to Like To Be You, on his pop star pal’s 2018 hit album, Shawn Mendes.
In an Instagram jam in 2018, the master guitarist riffed with one of the most exciting bassists of recent times, and sparks duly flew.
- Sob Rock (opens in new tab) is out now via Columbia.