John Mayer steps out of the shadows with the release of his new video for “Shadow Days.” Hopefully, he’s put his throat problems and his days of being a jerk behind him.

Mayer, 34, has been sidelined since last September with a granuloma in his throat which had to be operated on. He was forced to cancel several shows and step out of the limelight to recover.

Which had to be a good thing. Mayer was coming off a stretch of bad publicity that began when he summarily dumped America’s sweetheart Jennifer Aniston in 2008.

He followed up with a disastrous interview in Playboy in April 2010. He talked out-of-school about having sex with ex-girlfriends Aniston and Jessica Simpson, and used the n-word. He was quickly branded a misogynist, kiss-and-tell ex-boyfriend and racist.

The incident let to tearful apologies from the stage. He left the bright lights of Los Angeles for New York City last year and now lives in a Manhattan apartment.

The granuloma returned this year, despite surgery in October. “Because of this, I have no choice but to take an indefinite break from live performing,” he wrote on his blog, before canceling another round of shows last month.

“Shadow Days” is the lead single off his new album Born and Raised. With the video he also unveiled a new look with shoulder-length hair and scruffy beard. He channels a young Arlo Guthrie.

The video is introspective. Mayer is featured traveling across the country, a metaphorical search for himself. Mayer sings in “Shadow Days” about letting his past go. There’s no word yet on when Mayer will be able to tour again.

Born and Raised is due May 22. You can pre-order it now from amazon.com by clicking the link above. Check out his video below: