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John Mayer Trio 

With Charlie Sexton. Tuesday, October 4, at House of Blues.

Why arena-emo heartthrob John Mayer feels the need to prove his roots-music bona fides to anyone is beyond us; it must be the same misguided conception of "integrity" that leads popular indie bands to apologize when they record albums you can actually hear.

That said, Mayer could certainly have chosen less wisely when putting together his new blues trio. Drummer Steve Jordan has helped Mayer's fellow white people in the Rolling Stones get in touch with their inner bluesmen, while bassist Pino Palladino's résumé spans an absurd expanse, from the Who to French pop-rockers Phoenix to R&B hunk D'Angelo (whose Voodoo Mayer has admitted emulating on 2003's Heavier Things). "Who Did You Think I Was," the John Mayer Trio's new single, also bodes well for this show: Though he leaves plenty of room inside the tune for the hot-shot soloing, the song's got a bright, hard-driving groove and more hooks than you're likely to hear in stuff by other, less baggage-laden traditionalists. Here's hoping Mayer hasn't forgotten how to make the little girls cry.

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