Though many people were skeptical of John Mayer’s inclusion in the newest Grateful incantation, Dead & Company, those involved with the project have been nothing but faithful. Indeed, Mayer’s guitar playing has converted the most cynical into believers; a fact that guys like Mickey Hart could have predicted years ago. In a new interview with Radio.com, Hart digs in deep when asked about performing with Mayer.“John’s great, John really gets it,” says Hart. “He really was thirsty, he came to drink at our fountain. And he took major gulps! He was so enthusiastic, a great student of the music, he gave everything he had. That was a great commitment. He’s really a nice guy to be around, and he plays his a– off.He didn’t try to copy Jerry, he’s not a clone, he’s not a Jerry clone at all, but he definitely respects the songs. That’s what you would hope someone would do when they come into this kind of thing. We have 450 songs. Next year, we’ll probably learn some more songs to expand our repertoire. Right now we’ve got like 90 under our belt, so it’ll grow. He’s really a true musician, very much like Jerry. Jerry just cared about the music and playing his guitar. I couldn’t speak more highly about John.”The interviewer continues, asking about Mayer’s work as a mainstream pop star. Hart says, “All music has its beauty to it; he writes those beautiful pop songs. But he’s not a pop star in the Grateful Dead, he’s a recovering pop star (laughs). He plays pop music very well, though. I’m not really into pop music myself.He adapts, he’s such a great musician, he’s like a gunslinger on the guitar. He has a great mind; he remembers a lot. After we do a song a few times, he thinks about it and then he dreams about it, And once it gets in his dreams, then he can really have fun with it. I told him it would happen for him. I said, “Be careful John, if you get in too deep, it’ll turn into a habit, so understand what you’re getting into!””Mickey Hart also talks about his solo career and the introduction of “World Music” to American audiences. He says that a new album is in the works, one that will likely be supported by a tour. He also talks about drumming with President George H. W. Bush, with Bill Kreutzmann, and more. Check it out here.