Any Given Thursday (Live from Birmingham)
I got this one from a friend and couldn't wait to have my listen. If there's anything that John Mayer does right is writing simple songs beautifully. Often he has to refrain from showing his full guitar chops and techniques to serve the music and avoid any overplaying. However, now the situation has changed, it's a live album. Choppy guitar solos, extra parts and different instrumentations, the album didn't disappoint. All this done tight thanks bassist David Labruyere, percussionist Steven Chopek, and keyboard player Michael Chaves.
If you belong to the school of thought that believes in Mayer's hyped guitar skills, Covered Rain might just be the track to change your mind with him in his soulful western-ish chops much like Stevie Ray Vaughan in his lighter moods. And as if to proof that, the track "Man on the Side" was preceded with Stevie Ray Vaughan's "Lenny" as an introduction. All the songs were played with much more but all so fittingly.
There were also some quirky surprises like using of DJs to alter his voice Live in 83 and various instrumental solos in the closing track, "Neon". The concert was at a high all the time with the hundreds of dozens of John's screaming female fans to back it up.
Listening to the two CDs of Any Given Thursday will make you believe two things: John Mayer can do beautiful songs and beautiful solos.