Ed note: We’re pleased to welcome Lainy Bagwell to the SGS family! Her passion for music is infectious, and we’re thrilled that she wants to share that passion with us! -Les
Each week I’ll recommend an artist or band or album that you may or may not have heard. The point is to introduce folks to new music, or maybe it’ll be a revisit of someone you forgot about. With that, I’ll also pop in a song recommendation from a band from the past. I don’t want to bash on any artist, but I am considering a side note called “That song makes me want to stab myself in the ear!” We’ll see how it goes!
I first heard Mayer Hawthorne at a friend’s house in Joshua Tree 3 years ago. She put his first single, a red, heart shaped vinyl on the turn table. The voice that poured out of the speakers was beautiful. A song about break up and sadness and on the flip side of the record, a song about regret. “Just Ain’t Gonna Work Out” and the B-Side, “When I Said Goodbye” sounded like they were recorded in the 60’s by a black artist with that wonderful vinyl crackle in the background.
About a year later I pulled out the CD she had made me. I thought to myself, “I wonder what Mayer Hawthorne looks like?” So I searched his image and just about fell off my yoga ball! He was white, AND he was 30 years old. I’m pretty sure I said out loud, “Are fucking kidding me?” How was that voice coming out of this nerdy white boy?Mayer Hawthorne has brought Soul music back into mainstream popularity. He has released two full-length albums and a handful of singles since he began his career as a musician.
Mayer started his career as a DJ. Not wanting to pay for royalties for sampling other artist’s songs, he began to make his own beats. A friend heard the music he was creating for his DJ sets and suggested that he record his songs. In 2009 he released a his first full-length record titled “A Strange Arrangement”. All the songs were recorded in his bedroom with him playing all of the instruments himself!
In May 2011 he released a 5 song EP titled “Impressions-The Covers EP” covering songs from The Isley Brothers to ELO. The EP is available for free download at: http://www.stonesthrow.com/news/2011/05/mayer-hawthorne-impressions-covers-ep
In October of this year he released his second full-length record titled “How Do You Do”.
Full of catchy hooks and riffs with a new version of the song “No Strings”. The original version he did earlier this year was titled “No Strings Attached” and was a bit funkier than this version, but both are good. And it’s the ultimate one-night stand hook up song!
Mayer’s music and lyrics bring back that wonderful soul sound with influences like Isaac Hayes, Curtis Mayfield and Smokey Robinson. His vocal range hits different tempos and his voice is smooth and inviting, making you want to sway along or dance along to each song. He’s also really hot and a snappy dresser! (He’s even better looking in person, for real.)
Mayer Hawthorne’s music is available at:
Also check out the videos for his two new singles “The Walk “ and “A Long Time”