Watching John Mayer’s evolution over the past decade-plus has been a pleasure. Originally emerging as an uber-talented pop heartthrob, Mayer quickly revealed an affinity for serious blues guitar shredding and started showing up jamming with the likes of Buddy Guy and Eric Clapton. While simultaneously retaining a pop-based audience, Mayer moved into soul, R&B and jazz-informed areas with projects including a trio tour with legendary drummer Steve Jordan and equally legendary bassist Pino Palladino.
Now, Mayer has embraced a rootsy folk approach that suggests a love for CSN&Y and the Grateful Dead of the “American Beauty/Workingman’s Dead” period. His recent “Born & Raised” release proved that Mayer’s talent can ably assimilate all of these disparate influences in a sound that remains distinctively his own. A new Mayer album arrives at the end of the month. Meanwhile, he returns for a show at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday in the Darien Lake Performing Arts Center. Phillip Phillips will open. Tickets are $55 to $75 reserved; $36 lawn (www.livenation.com).
– Jeff Miers