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Roll It on Home

Modern songwriting
Single tweet.
Several references to texting in some of these new songs. As a songwriter I can't authentically mention phone calls anymore.
Excerpted from Modern songwriting >
Article in Rolling Stone, February 2017
John Mayer Reveals Personal Stories Behind Four ‘Wave 2’ Songs
“We have this bar in Livingston, Montana called The Murray Bar, and that’s the room I’ve always pictured this playing in,” says Mayer, of the laid-back country tune – a song about the moment you realize you’ve been at the bar so long that “tonight’s already yesterday.” Says Mayer: “It’s like the singer in the jukebox is putting their arm around you, like, ‘You did not get what you wanted tonight. Tomorrow’s another chance.'” Because he wanted the song to feel like a pick-up band was playing it, Mayer sought to retain small imperfections that would give it a kind of slackened shuffle. “It’s supposed to be like a worn-in pair of jeans,” he notes. “It reminds me of JJ Cale or Eric Clapton, and those unsung great records like Clapton’s ‘Promises,’ which sounds like it’s performed in a reclining chair, with a cigarette burning in the headstock of the guitar.”
Interview from Guitar World, 2017
June 2017 Issue of Guitar World magazine

"Roll It On Home" is a country homage, but it feels pretty authentic.

That's a great example. The temptation was to pick up a Telecaster and go for it, but I discovered when I did that it became parody. Instead I used my '64 Strat and rolled off the treble. If you notice, there is no real twang in my sound on that track. Once I stopped trying to imitate the country sound in a literal way, it became cowboy boots with denim, not an over-the-top Nudie suit. The idea was to get the music to sort of buff out the message of the song, which is this comfy arm around you, amber scotch haze sort of thing.

Tina Fey once said when a joke goes too far, writers refer to it as "a hat wearing a hat." I think about that all the time. At its core, a song like "Roll It On Home" already evokes J.J. Cale or the Eagles, so if you put a twang on it, it's a hat wearing a hat. My challenge was how to subvert what I was doing just enough to keep it real and in my world. The song could've been a joke, but I think I found a way of sidestepping that.

Another interesting thing about that song that makes it different is that the drum track — which is played by the legendary Jim Keltner —is actually from a different song! If you listen carefully, the cymbal crashes, fills and ride cymbals happen a lot of times completely off the bar line, and it makes the whole track fun and weird because it has this strange lope. It gave the song a bit of that asymmetry I was looking for.