"John wanted to take it in more of a pop direction than I did," Cook says. "It was like a marriage that we both knew would go bad once we started touring."
Matt Mangano met Mayer and Cook at the Berklee College of Music in Boston. He recently left Mayer's touring band, moved to Nashville and joined Wise Child (think Jethro Tull meets Bruce Hornsby with, um, a little John Mayer thrown in). "We're all still friends," Mangano asserts.
Hmm. Three former college roommates, still friends, but who no longer "hang" like they used to because they're growing in different directions. Sounds like every group of college pals you ever heard of. Except that one of those pals is now a pop-culture cover boy. So what do Cook and Mangano make of Mayer's success?
"I'm not gonna say it's a revolution," says Mangano. "But I think what he's done is amazing. I'm just happy to be a part of it."
As for Cook -- who co-wrote many of the Mayer songs now drifting through sorority girls' heads, including "Love Song for No One," "Neon" and the breakthrough single "No Such Thing" -- he has a different take on things.
"It's made Christmas shopping a lot easier this year," he says with a smirk.
Clay Cook and Wise Child play Eddie's Attic Wed., Dec. 4.