“The greatest gift I have in my life is the opportunity to play again, which is also the opportunity to dream again. My dreams were in escrow, but when I found out this thing in my throat had receded, the most exciting thing for me was having a second chance at a new life. My dreams have come true twice. That’s really cool.”
- John Mayer (Billboard Magazine, 2013) [x]
Last Sunday night, I put on the complete recordings of Miles Davis’ In A Silent Way, sat in my chair with my dog sleeping on my foot, poured myself a little Knob Creek to sip on and watched the Yellowstone River as the sun went down. As I looked up at the sky, I was planning this tour in my mind—I couldn’t have done that when it was unforeseen when and if it was going to happen.
@harpersmithphoto hanging with John Mayer on set for Billboard Magazine [x]
Backbeat: Michael Kiwanuka Wows a Packed Webster Hall With John Mayer, Martin Kierszenbaum, More
People also occasionally noted the fact that John Mayer, who played some beautifully tasteful guitar with Frank Ocean on the “Saturday Night Live” season opener over the weekend, was watching from the balcony VIP section, accompanied by his tour accountant Ina Jacobs.
Backstage after the show, Kiwanuka and Mayer chatted at length (we didn’t eavesdrop) while Kierszenbaum told us how pleased he is to be back at Interscope, raved about two new signings (Willy Moon, a New Zealander he described as “Bill Haley, David Byrne meshed with Beck and Public Enemy”; and R&B singer Jessie Ware, who, along with Kiwanuka, was recently nominated for Britain’s prestigious Mercury Prize), and mentioned he’s got a couple of others he can’t disclose just yet, and, like a proud dad should, told us about the major role his 15-year-old son played in the design of the CherryTree app.
Later, he and Mayer - who was speaking in a tone just above a whisper, due to recent surgery on his vocal cords - traded highly informed notes on vocal-cord specialists. As is sometimes the case in backstage scenes, a lap-steel guitar just happened to be lying around. We said, “Hey John, do you know how to play that thing?” “Sure!” He obliged, beautifully, for a good five minutes, while Kiwanuka chatted with fans outside.
Chart Moves: John Mayer’s Live EP Debuts on Billboard 200
John Mayer: Before John Mayer became too ill to sing, he recorded an EP’s worth of live tracks titled “The Complete 2012 Performances Collection.” This week, the five-song set, exclusive to iTunes, debuts at No. 17 on the Billboard 200 with 15,000 sold. The effort includes four tunes recorded during the making of his latest album, “Born and Raised,” along with one previously unreleased studio track. “Born and Raised” debuted at No. 1 earlier this year.
John Mayer Going for Third No. 1 Album on Billboard 200 Chart
John Mayer’s new album “Born and Raised” is heading for No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart next week. Industry sources suggest it could sell around 220,000 to 240,000 copies by week’s end on Sunday, May 27.
The new Billboard 200 chart’s top 10 will be revealed on the morning of Wednesday, May 30.If the album starts atop the list, it will mark his third leader on the chart. The ailing singer also hit No. 1 with 2003’s “Heavier Things” and 2009’s “Battle Studies.” (Mayer has a throat condition called granuloma which prevents him from singing, and he canceled a planned spring tour earlier this year.)
“Battle Studies” bowed with 289,000 in its first week according to Nielsen SoundScan, while “Heavier Things” launched with 317,000. He released another solo studio album between those sets, 2006’s “Continuum,” which entered at No. 2 off a 300,000 start.
Other albums looking to make a high entry on the chart next week include MercyMe’s “The Hurt & the Healer,” Sara Bareilles’ EP “Once Upon Another Time,” Slash’s “Apocalyptic Love” (featuring Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators) and Kimbra’s “Vows.”
Two former “American Idol” finalists are set to arrive on the tally next week as well. 2009 winner Kris Allen will likely see his sophomore album “Thank You Camellia” bow in the top 20. Last year’s third-place finisher, Haley Reinhart, is on course for a top 20 debut as well with her debut set, “Listen Up.”
Billboard review, May 2012