For the last two years, John Mayer has taken a backseat while allowing his throat to recover from a serious granuloma that required two surgeries.  He spent a lot of time jamming at his home in Bozeman, MT, sitting back and thinking about his life and career, and listening to a lot of Grateful Dead in the interim.

“I’ve been listening to stuff and just falling in love with certain things. I’ve been listening to the Grateful Dead nonstop. Mark my words, the Grateful Dead are gonna make a comeback, because of how that music cleanses your palate. When everything is processed and quantized and gridded out – to hear “Tennessee Jed” played with that lope is a real palate-cleanser. They take their time, sometimes too much. This free expressive sort of spirit – I listen and I want to find a mix of that openness. I kind of want to go to that show, if it still existed. But I wish that there were tunes that I was more familiar with. I wish that I could be the singer. I wish I could have harmonies. And I wish that I could make it seven minutes instead of 13 minutes. Now I’ll get the opportunity to kind of try that.”

Since playing his first live show on January 16th in Bozeman to benefit the firefighters who fought a raging wildfire that destroyed 12,000 acres (and raising $100,000 while doing so), Mayer has released  tour dates in support of his latest effort Born and Raised.  He also showed up at JazzFest this past week, and played a cover “Going Down The Road Feeling Bad” (which you can watch below).  For all of his mainstream success, Mayer is truly one talented guitar player and can play with the best of them.  It does seem that he is much more comfortable in his own skin and just wants to make music that he believes in.

-story via Rolling Stone

“Going Down The Road Feeling Bad” at JazzFest:

“Tennessee Jed” @ Love For Levon Benefit:

Here is a clip of Mayer jamming some blues at JazzFest: