Ten years ago, John Mayer released their sixth studio album, born and raised. Recorded with producer Don was and a loaded band of folk luminaries, the record marked a noticeable transition away from the pop sounds that had made him a star.
The album followed a highly publicized period of personal turmoil for the veteran hitmaker, who had largely retreated from the public eye after a pair of controversial magazine interviews in 2010. That moment of solitude and reflection prompted Mayer to create the set of lyrically introspective folk and Americana songs that would become born and raised.
Mayer connected with Was and quietly assembled a band including a bassist Sean Hurleyseasoned session drummer Aaron Sterling (Taylor Swift, Kris Kristofferson) and famous pianist chuck leavel (Allman Brothers Band, The Rolling Stones) to record material for the new disc. The sessions also included guest appearances from West Coast folk-rock legends. David Croby and Graham Nash (CSNY) with pedal steel guitarist Greg Leiszwho would later perform regularly with Bob Weir’s Wolf Bros alongside Was.
The album’s immediate commercial performance pales in comparison to Mayer’s earlier efforts, but its Americana sound and earnest lyricism are seen by many as a critical inflection point in his career – the opening lines of a new chapter on avoidance of pop tendencies in his solo work and wandering. on the Golden Road with Death and company. A decade later, born and raised is one of Mayer’s most famous works.
Related: Review of John Mayer’s ‘Born And Raised’ and ‘Paradise Valley’ LPs as Precursors to His Grateful Crossover [Watch/Listen]
To mark the tenth anniversary of the release of born and raised, John Mayer took to social media to share his thoughts on the album and its creation. “I’m not usually a fan of ‘album anniversaries’ (I tend to keep my eyes on the road and not look back) but this is a very special record that means a lot to me, and I learned that he means a lot to people,” he explained.
“It’s the least documented scrapbook I’ve ever done – only a few Polaroids and iPhone photos were taken,” Mayer continued. “It was a very special experience that those who worked there knew were special at the time, which is quite rare. It was not made with any consideration for the outside world. It was a deeply personal creative process. and very tight-knit who took no notice of the outside.
“When it first came out, nobody really cared about it,” he added. “It didn’t have the same chord complexity that I was known for at the time, and instead focused on the lyrical aspect of things. I think there’s a sincerity to the relative simplicity of the chords that let the words carry the message. To this day, those songs are still some of my favorites to play live. The friendships that were forged on that record were deep, and those bonds endure…”
Mayer concluded his note on ten years of born and raised with a few words of wisdom: “If I may be so bold as to offer one piece of advice: the fact that this record has grown over the years in terms of people connecting with it is undeniable proof that you don’t always have to art for when you take it out. The release week is a fraction of an album’s lifespan, and sometimes it’s worth making a statement that blossoms over time. Everyone who worked on this album knew from the start that it was touching on some rare magic. And that was always going to be enough – but the fact that it found a place in people’s hearts is a wonderful bonus, and proof that we weren’t crazy to think we had done something meaningful. So thank you for growing and growing with this love-filled little record called born and raised. It may be time for another like this…”
Read John Mayer’s full reflection on the creation of born and raised in honor of its tenth anniversary and listen to the album below.
Following the conclusion of its extensive bloody rock arena tour earlier this month, Mayer will now move on to Dead & Company as he prepares for a summer outing with the Grateful Dead derived act. For a full list of upcoming Dead & Co 2022 tour dates, head here.
John Mayer- born and raised – Complete Album