The John Mayer Track That Featured David Crosby & Graham Nash
Listen to Croz and Willy’s iconic harmonies on “Born & Raised” and watch the singers join Mayer on the song live in 2014.
By Nate Todd Jan 26, 2023 • 11:49 am PST
John Mayer is returning to his acoustic roots with the announcement of his first solo tour. A little over a decade ago, Mayer also revisited his acoustic-leaning influences with the folk-rock album, Born & Raised, which saw the singer-songwriter and guitarist collaborating with David Crosby, who sadly died last week, and Graham Nash.
David Crosby and Graham Nash singing on your record is one of those milestones that says you’ve made it. When he began work on his stellar 2012 album, Born & Raised, John Mayer was already a bonafide rock star with four studio albums and seven Grammy wins. But it doesn’t hurt your ‘60s street cred to have Croz and Willy add their legendary harmonies to one of your songs.
The ’60s and ‘70s are all over the Don Was-produced Born & Raised, an album inspired by the folk-rock titans of the era including Bob Dylan, Neil Young and Crosby, Stills & Nash. The record contains contributions from former Allman Brothers Band, and current Rolling Stones, keyboardist Chuck Leavell, as well as drums from legendary session drummer Jim Keltner on “Something Like Olivia.” The LP was partially recorded at Electric Lady Studios — commissioned by Jimi Hendrix — in New York City but also in Los Angeles not far from the epicenter of folk-rock in its heyday, Laurel Canyon, an area Crosby and Nash knew well.
David and Graham sing on the title track to Born & Raised. While their individual voices count among the greatest of all time, Crosby and Nash together are instantly recognizable — iconic. To put a cherry on top, the track features renowned steel guitarist Greg Leisz, who has played with Eric Clapton, Bob Weir, Bruce Springsteen and many more. Listen to “Born & Raised” below:
While it was a big deal to have Crosby and Nash on the song, the singers wouldn’t have done it if they didn’t believe in the music. Crosby was impressed with Mayer:
But Mayer’s collaboration with Crosby and Nash didn’t end in the studio. At the April 2014 Light Up The Blues benefit concert for Autism Speaks at the Ace Theater in Los Angeles, Croz and Willy joined John for a live rendition of “Born & Raised.” Crosby Stills & Nash were on hand to perform as well and Mayer would return the favor by joining them on the Crosby-penned CSNY classic “Almost Cut My Hair.” Watch both performances below:
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