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Try! John Mayer Trio Live in Concert

Try! John Mayer Trio Live in Concert

4.4 10
by John Mayer

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Once upon a time, chart-topping artists took musical risks with dizzying regularity, with concept albums and stylistic shifts peppering the pop landscape like palm trees on a California highway. The fact that such curveballs are pitched so rarely these days adds to the allure of Try!, John Mayer’s attempt to re-create the blues-rock power-trio vibe of bands


Once upon a time, chart-topping artists took musical risks with dizzying regularity, with concept albums and stylistic shifts peppering the pop landscape like palm trees on a California highway. The fact that such curveballs are pitched so rarely these days adds to the allure of Try!, John Mayer’s attempt to re-create the blues-rock power-trio vibe of bands like Cream and the Jimi Hendrix Experience. But the live disc’s main selling point isn’t the concept but the music. There’s little evidence of the mellow congeniality that’s marked Mayer’s studio output to date; even the version of “Daughters” presented here takes on added heft thanks in the stark, sinewy instrumental interplay. Some credit for the brew’s potency has to go to the rhythm section that Mayer put together -- bassist Pino Palladino (the Who) adds a sensual touch to “Good Love Is on the Way,” while drummer Steve Jordan pushes “Vultures” into overdrive -- but Mayer shows that he belongs in the driver’s seat. The new originals he penned for this context range from the overtly bluesy (“Who Did You Think I Was?”) to jazzier material that lets him showcase his voice more effectively. Mayer’s soloing is credible enough, though he falls a bit short in trying to recapture Hendrix’s alchemy on “Wait Until Tomorrow,” and his motives are admirable. Having promised Heavier Things on his last album, Mayer loads this disc up with just that -- and shoulders the weight admirably.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
What got into John Mayer? Sometime after the release of his 2003 sophomore album, Heavier Things, a perfectly pleasant affair that expanded on the dreamy, mellow adult pop of his breakthrough hit, "Your Body Is a Wonderland," he decided that he just didn't want to follow that direction anymore. He started penning a monthly column for Esquire magazine, within which he hinted that his musical tastes were far broader than his recordings suggested, and then he started cameoing all over the place, appearing on albums by Buddy Guy, Herbie Hancock, B.B. King, Eric Clapton, and John Scofield -- heavy hitters one and all, yet none of them seemed to have much to do with Mayer's music, at least on the surface. These veterans recognized something within Mayer's playing, but more importantly, he realized that he needed to push himself further and decided to expand his horizons by seizing the opportunity to play with these masters and then incorporating what he learned into his own music. He toured as a power trio with studio pros Steve Jordan and Pino Palladino and recorded the live album Try! while on the road. There are no two ways about it: anybody who dismissed Mayer as a lite Dave Matthews wannabe based on his first two records will be forced to reassess him on the basis of this excellent record. While he still has some vocal tics that bring to mind Matthews and certainly shares an affection for lengthy live jams, Mayer has developed serious chops that transcend boilerplate jam band rock, where the groove and feel is more important than what's played. Here, Mayer is pushed by Jordan and Palladino -- and he pays back the favor by giving them equal billing on the album's front cover, which is unusual for any pop
ock star of his popularity (the cover also marks the second Blue Note allusion in Mayer's oeuvre, which is surely not a coincidence) -- and he rises to the challenge with muscular playing that's his best playing on record. Not just that, but there's a palpable grit to Try! -- and a sultry smoothness to the mellow numbers -- unheard on his previous studio albums. That alone would make Try! not just noteworthy, but a step forward for Mayer. But what makes it more remarkable is that Mayer takes an even greater risk by relying on new material for this album. There are two older songs -- "Something's Missing" and the hit "Daughters," both from Heavier Things -- but the rest consists of covers of Jimi Hendrix and Ray Charles ("Wait Until Tomorrow" and "I Got a Woman," respectively) and new songs that showcase Mayer's earthier, blues-rock direction. Although he sometimes dips into blues-rock clichés -- particularly on the slow-crawling "Out of My Mind" -- it's only on occasion (and when he does tread that familiar ground, he does so with conviction), and the songs overall are his strongest, most ambitious set of tunes yet. And that's what's most impressive about Try! -- Mayer has expanded what he can do as a musician and a writer and in the process has definitively separated himself from the pack of sensitive, jammy modern singer/songwriters. Based on this, he has more heart, soul, ambition, and chops than the rest of them combined.
St. Louis Post-Dispatch - Calvin Wilson
[Grade: A-] This blues-influenced live album is as joyful as it is enjoyable.... "Try!" triumphs.

Product Details

Release Date:


Album Credits

Performance Credits

John Mayer   Primary Artist,Guitar,Vocals
Pino Palladino   Bass,Bass Guitar,Vocals
Steve Jordan   Drums,Vocals
Chalmers "Spanky" Alford   Guitar

Technical Credits

Ray Charles   Composer
Joe Ferla   Engineer
Jimi Hendrix   Composer
Roger Moutenot   Pro-Tools
Pino Palladino   Composer
John Alagia   Producer
Mitchell Cohen   Liner Notes
Renald Richard   Composer
Steve Jordan   Composer,Producer,Audio Production
John Mayer   Composer,Producer,Art Direction,Audio Production
Hardi Kamsani   Engineer
Chad Franscoviak   Engineer
Joel Singer   Engineer
Peter Gary   Engineer
Michael McDonald   Management
Chris Nelson   Engineer

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Try! John Mayer Trio Live in Concert 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
Mickey_Dee More than 1 year ago
John Mayer has grown into his role as a guitar icon. With so few real rock / blues guitar virtuosos out there from this generation I was pleasantly surprized with the energy and talent that JM put into this. I clearly envy his ability to put together a trio with the singing Steve Jordan on drums (check out Vultures harmonies) and the incredibly talented and often overlooked Pino Palladino on bass (plays with The Who also). The rock solid foundation under his extremely solid playing creates a fusion of talent that supergroups are made of. I am by no means an expert on all his songs, but you'll find everything here solid, to the point and right in your face. Very well rehearsed and phenomenal live sound captured here. You've got my attention JM, so what's next??? Can't wait!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I love, John Mayer's move from his old pop stuff to this new blues genre. It takes a lot more skill to play good blues music rather than just play the same old tired pop junk that has being playing on the radio for far to long. This album truly is incredible, especially the song Vultures absolutely amazing. I really hope there are more songs like this coming from John Mayer because this is what he was born to play.
Guest More than 1 year ago
what an amazing album. You get a sense of intimacy because of how raw and honest the music is. His vocal skills have improved immensly. Pino Pallidino is an amazing bass player and Steve Jordan plays funky complicated beats. Much more blusy and artsy. Congratualtions John Mayer, this album impressed me.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I normally would not have bought a John Mayer album, but I love the blues. Loaded with rock and blues it hits all the right notes! If you are looking for mellow, this album is not for you. I hope the John Mayer Trio makes more albums like this one.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is when John Mayer really shines in my opinion. This is the music he was meant to play and its only going to get better with his new studio cd to come out soon. Watch out for it people, its gonna be hot.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This album is pivotal. And, sadly if you're not aware of what's going on in music you'll not get it. You'll wish you'd paid attention and you'll wish you were hip enough to get it. Wake up and realize music is not enclosed only to the artist but because of the whole movement taking place within our cultures. I say cultures and not culture because whether or not anyone knows or recognizes it the "cross over" artist doesn't exactly exist alone any longer. It's all "cross over" because it's all art. It's all music and all humanity. At least if it's good it will be. It certainly should be. Like the sixties and seventies, man. Get over yourself and get into the music already. John Mayer knows what he's doing. Those of you you are a bit frightened to trust the artist with his or her art? Go back and check out John's portfolio. He does know what he's doing. We have to at one time or another realize as fans we don't know it all. We have to find a place that allows us to sit back comfortably and let the artist deliver the art...straight to our doorsteps instead of hunting. Well, they call me the hunter...
Guest More than 1 year ago
I purchased this album for the track "Daughters" and was highly disappointed. I heard the song on the Gilmore Girls and instantly fell in love with it. The music on this CD is filth. It sounds like any other suburbanite trying to cover Jimi Hendrix. I want more funky whiteboy tracks similar to Jack Johnson or Keller Williams (the artist, not the realty company). This is way too gritty and you can see right through this thinly veiled attempt to shake the college frat boy image. You're not fooling us, John!
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