As John Mayer prepares to launch a new tour in support of his 2021 album, Sob Rock, the guitarist/vocalist has revealed the band of veteran musicians set to join him onstage throughout the three-month trek.
“It’s my honor and pleasure to introduce to you the Sob Rock 2022 touring band,” Mayer said in a social media post on Tuesday. “The combined years of experience between these extraordinary musicians, as well as their contributions to the art form, is really something special to see and hear all on one stage.”
The Sob Rock touring band will feature John Mayer on guitar and vocals, Lenny Castro on percussion, Steve Ferrone on drums, David Ryan Harris on guitar and vocals, Jamie Muhoberac on keys, Pino Palladino on bass guitar, Tiffany Palmer on vocals, Greg Phillinganes on keys and vocals, Carlos Ricketts on vocals, and Isaiah Sharkey on guitar.
The ten-piece outfit is comprised of both familiar Mayer collaborators and Sob Rock-inspired additions. Fans who have caught Mayer’s recent tours will recognize Harris, Muhoberac, Palmer, Ricketts, Sharkey, and Palladino, the ever-talented, enduring core of the lineup.
The newcomers to the fold only add to the sterling resume of the outfit. Steve Ferrone, the band’s new drummer, has played with a long list of superstars throughout his nearly five-decade career. You may recognize him from 20+ years behind the drum kit with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers (from 1994 through Petty’s death in 2017), or from his eight-year stint with Average White Band in the late ’70s and early ’80s. In truth, it’s difficult to find an influential artist who has not enlisted Ferrone’s abilities at some point over the years; the drummer has appeared on recordings by the Bee Gees, Chaka Khan, Anita Baker, Cyndi Lauper, Christine McVie, Peter Frampton, Rick James, Whitney Houston, Freddie King, Steve Winwood, Marcus Miller, Bernie Worrell, Paul Simon, Jaco Pastorius, Michael Jackson, and countless others.
Mayer initially sought out the other two new additions, percussionist Lenny Castro and keyboardist Greg Phillinganes, during the recording process for Sob Rock a quasi-concept album intended to evoke nostalgia for a bygone era with entirely new music.
As he explained to Zane Lowe during a July 2021 interview, “The idea of Sob Rock is that it might have been something that already happened, but when you go looking, it’s not. The idea of Sob Rock is to implant false memories into your brain. That’s what it did for me. … It’s out of my brain and it’s out of everyone’s shared Mandela effect. Can you have memories that never happened to you? Can you go back and synthesize a piece of work that’s so true to the era that when you hear it your brain goes ‘no, no, no, this exists.’”
In pursuit of a Toto-like sound for the project, Mayer decided to go directly to the source: rather than recording percussion and synths that sound like Toto’s Lenny Castro and Greg Phillinganes, why not go recruit the actual Lenny Castro and Greg Phillinganes? Both players wound up appearing on the album, and both will now help bring the Sob Rock material to life on tour.
“We’ve been rehearsing for the past 10 days or so, and it’s been more of a revelation than a recital,” Mayer added in his band introductions. “I couldn’t be more excited to hit the road with them, and I hope you can come out and see us.”
John Mayer is set to kick off the Sob Rock tour on February 17th in Albany, NY followed by a night at Philadelphia, PA’s Wells Fargo Center (2/18) and a two-night stand at New York, NY’s Madison Square Garden (2/20, 2/21). The tour will stop at arenas around the country throughout February, March, and April before wrapping up with a two-night run at Chicago, IL’s United Center (4/28, 4/29). The tour will feature support from Alexander 23 from February 17th–March 5th and Yebba from March 11th through April 29th.
Click below to view a full list of John Mayer Sob Rock tour dates. For ticketing information and more details, head here.
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