John Mayer’s late-night blues show in Atlanta

From the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

After his show Sunday at HiFi Buys Amphitheatre, singer-songwriter (and blues enthusiast) John Mayer dropped by Smith’s Olde Bar in Midtown to play a blistering hour-long set featuring material by B.B. King, Buddy Guy and Jimi Hendrix.

Mayer isn’t exactly famous for his blues background, but people who know him from his days in Atlanta are always testifying about his outrageous guitar chops. At Smith’s, those chops were on full display, as Mayer — wearing one of his own T-shirts on stage, and backed by bassist David LaBruyere and drummer JJ Johnson — shredded song after song. By the end of the set, everyone who ever compared Mayer with James Taylor looked terribly imperceptive; this guy is Stevie Ray Vaughan in a folkie’s clothing. If that strikes you as hard to believe, well, you shoulda been there.

Mayer’s late-night show was billed in advance on the club’s Web site as Midnight Blues Benefit Show, which was true enough (since the show began at 12:30 a.m. and benefited Mayer’s Back To You Fund) but which wasn’t exactly helpful to the general public.

In any case, every scenester and their booking agent found out about it, and the place was packed.

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