Music Article

Rocket Man

Meet the rocker who broke through with his debut CD. The easygoing Jason Mraz ascends into the mainstream stratosphere with his first album

Jason Mraz | OFF LIKE A 'ROCKET' Thanks to the success of ''Come,'' Mraz isn't singing the freshmen blues
Image credit: Jason Mraz Photograph by Alex Tehrani
OFF LIKE A 'ROCKET' Thanks to the success of ''Come,'' Mraz isn't singing the freshmen blues

Jason Mraz's dad is getting a little taste of his son's insane life, and he's finding it amusingly ironic. ''He got into this business because he didn't want to have a day job,'' says Tom Mraz, a Mechanicsville, Va., postal worker who's driven five hours to watch Jason perform tonight at the Stone Pony club in Asbury Park, N.J., and is tagging along for an afternoon of tiring promo work. ''But now he's working night and day.''

The 26-year-old singer-songwriter is the latest good-natured dude-with-a-guitar to plug into the jazz/world/folk-lite sound popularized by Dave Matthews, and his album, ''Waiting for My Rocket to Come,'' has won an audience the hard way, building slowly and organically thanks to Mraz's energetic live show, his slacker-anthem Top 40 single ''The Remedy (I Won't Worry),'' and lots and lots of relentless, repetitive self-promotion.

Today, Mraz dragged himself out of bed at 5:30 a.m. to sing ''The Remedy'' on influential New York pop station Z100. In the afternoon, he'll croon an acoustic rendition of the tune on two Jersey Shore stations, sit for a protracted magazine interview, and do an extended sound check/rehearsal with his band. Before bunking down on the bus after tonight's show, Mraz will have penned scores of autographs, posed for dozens of photos, recorded several silly radio promos (''Hey, this is Jason Mraz wishing you the happiest of holidays!''), and made strained conversation with an endless stream of tongue-tied fans and well-wishers. Tomorrow, he's up before dawn again, off to Portland, Ore., for another show that evening. And the day after that? Australia. ''Now I see how people can not know what town they're in,'' he says, his likably Jeff Spicoli-ish demeanor clearly dimmed by exhaustion. ''It feels like 'Groundhog Day,' you know?''

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