I just spent this past weekend listening to John Mayer's new, live album, "Where the Light is", and I am convinced that he is, and will be known as, the quintessential guitarist and songwriter of our age. His lyrics are well crafted and clever, his guitar versatility and command is unmatched, and his live performances demonstrate his increasing control over his voice and his mastery of melody.
When I watch Mayer play (I got the live DVD, too, for my birthday), I'm not inspired to just hone one aspect of my musical "game". I'm left in awe of the depth of his expression - lyrically, melodically, and altogether musically. I don't want to be John Mayer; but man this dude has some serious skills.
In the past six years, no single artist's music has pushed me as hard as John's has - to strive to write a better song than the last, to improve my live performances, and to capture the essence of a song on a great record.