Mere weeks after the announcement of John Mayer’s fifth album, Born and Raised, the release of new single “Shadow Days” and the announcement of his first tour in two years, the singer/songwriter/guitarist announced he will be sidelined by health problems yet again.

Mayer, whose battle with a granuloma on his vocal cords forced cancellation of his few shows last year and delayed the completion of Born and Raised, announced in a Tumblr post Friday that the granuloma – “one giant pain in the ass” that won’t heal “without a good stretch of time and some pretty intensive treatment” – had returned, forcing “an indefinite break from live performing.”

But Mayer has something of a contingency plan.

Because I don’t make a very good anything-other-than-a-musician, I’m going to begin writing the next album very soon. I feel really vibrant as a writer at the moment and there’s no reason not to begin the next album project in the time I would have been touring. Somewhere in all of this is another surgery and a very long chemically-imposed period of silence, so I hope you’ll understand that I have to really pick that date carefully.

As a longtime Mayer fan, it hurts to report such a major setback for a largely talented artist. After the artistic disappointment of 2009’s Battle Studies and the personal disappointment (as personal as artist-fan relations can get) of watching Mayer make a public ass out of himself in the subsequent year, a creative battery recharge was just the trick to get him back toward the passionate, earnest musician we fell for a decade ago. (My God, it’s been that long?)

In any case, it’s heartening to know John Mayer’s attempting to keep a brave face about it. “The only thing that stops me from devolving into a puddle of tears is knowing that it’s a long life, and the greatest gift in the world is being able to create music no matter what the circumstances,” he said. “So these are the new circumstances, and I’ll find a way to make it mean something.”

While we wish him a safe recovery, let’s remember better times with the clip below.

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