Completing a vision: Mayer Hawthorne bring Moroccan jazz feel to 'For All Time,' sets Meow Wolf debut

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Jan. 19—Mayer Hawthorne is gearing up for his next tour.

This means getting everything he needs to perform in order — and resting his voice.

The 44-year-old musician is gearing up for his "Hawthorne Rides Again Tour," which will make a stop at Meow Wolf in Santa Fe on Sunday, Jan. 21.

"I've never performed there," he says. "I've seen it online and heard about the venue from friends. It's going to be a magical night."

Hawthorne is touring in support of his 2023 release, "For All Time," which was released on Oct. 27.

The album consists of 13 tracks.

"It was a situation where I was working on (the album) for a few years," Hawthorne says. "I've been writing and producing for other artists now. I haven't had enough time to focus on my own thing. And if I didn't really focus on it now, I'd never get to it. I called up Roddy McDonald and we banged it out in three weeks."

Hawthorne's journey with the album was speedy because he knew what he wanted.

"I was trying to figure out how to marry the Ethiopian and Turkish jazz sound with The Delfonics' soul and Motown," he says. "It took a lot of experimentation to figure out how to make it work together."

Hawthorne says once the single, "Without You," was completed, the vibe of the album was secure.

"There were a few extra songs that didn't fit the vibe," he says. "I really wanted to go all the way into that zone. It's kind of dark, mysterious and dramatic. It has Middle Eastern influence. An African influence. I wanted the entire album to feel like you were at a Moroccan jazz club."

Hawthorne cut his teeth in his hometown of Ann Arbor, Michigan, where he started making beats and DJing at the height of Detroit hip-hop. Since his debut heart-shaped single, "Just Ain't Gonna Work Out," in 2008, Hawthorne has released multiple LPs, raking in accolades from the music industry.

He opened for Amy Winehouse on her tragic final tour and served as direct support for Bruno Mars twice. He crafted modern yacht rock jams with Pharrell Williams poolside in Miami, and John Mayer called his debut the "album of the year" on Twitter. His songs have soundtracked episodes of HBO's "Girls," and were featured as the end credits of the final episode of "Ugly Betty."

After the release of his 2016 album, "Man About Town," Hawthorne launched the next phase of his career as a producer and writer for fellow artists.

When the pandemic struck, Hawthorne took to YouTube, where he started the "Wine & Vinyl Hour" livestreaming series, spinning rare records for his global community of viewers and reaching them in the most intimate of settings; at home.

When it comes to putting together a set list, Hawthorne is finding it to be a difficult task because of a growing catalog of music.

"I was just talking about this with my band," he says. "There are so many songs now. I can't possibly do them all in one set. I'm really tailoring this set. I want to give the people what they want, yet we can't do them all. I'm trying to keep it like George Clooney. It's two songs for you and one for me."

Hawthorne says each time he steps on stage, he's going to give more than his all.

"We don't stand up there just to play the songs," he says. "You are going to get a show and it's going to be fun because I'm having fun."