Hans knew when he was five years old that he wanted to play the guitar, but it took until he was twelve to convince his parents to get one for him. Lessons went along with the guitar, but they didn’t last - the teacher wanted Hans to go in a classical direction, but he was already playing by ear all the songs he wanted to play off the radio and albums. Hans started writing almost as soon as he could play cords and once his younger brother Kit had learned to play guitar, it was the start of a series of bands fronted by the brothers, playing a mix of originals, Southern Rock and reggae influenced tunes.
By his early twenties, Hans and Kit and their band, Northern Comfort had moved to La Crosse in Southwest Wisconsin (it was where the tour bus broke down). A beautiful river town on the Mississippi, La Crosse was also a great college town that provided dedicated fans for their bands Dr. Scholl’s Revenge, Blind Baby Olin and the Workbenches and Jawbone. It was during the early part of their stay in La Crosse that Hans played and toured in a duo with folk singer/songwriter John Smith.
After playing in bands for several years, Hans began touring and recording (playing bass guitar) with Native American Artist, Bill Miller, who he had met when they both lived in La Crosse. Miller was in demand all over the country and they played from one coast to the other, including all the big festivals (Michael Martin Murphy’s West Fest, the Philadelphia Folk Fest), national TV (Austin City Limits, The Today Show), a tour with Tori Amos and an appearance at the Ryman Theatre in Nashville (original home of the Grand Old Opry). Hans can be heard on the following Bil Miller CDs: “Raven in the Snow” (1995), "Hear Our Prayer" (2000), "A Sacred Gift" (2002), “Spirit Rain” (2002) and "Spirit Songs: The Best of Bill Miller" (2004). “You are the Rain,” a tune co-written by Mayer and Miller (and appearing on the “Spirit Rain” CD) was selected by Rick Schroder for the soundtrack of his film, “Black Cloud.”
Hans’ involvement in children’s/family music began with a request to write a theme for a public radio show for kids. The theme music proved so popular that he was asked to create more music for the show and for kids in general. Hans teamed up with storyteller and writer, Frank Gosar, and they co-wrote some of Hans’ most popular songs including, “My Brother Eats Bugs.” Frank is currently a popular public radio host and potter in Oregon.
In the late nineties Hans began to tour and record more extensively for kids and families - although he has always continued to record and perform for adults. Hans has also written, performed and produced two instrumental albums for the adult audience: “Nana’s Waltz” and “Eastsound” on which he plays guitar, mandolin, bass guitar, and Native American flute. His current band, Hot Sauce, was featured on his award-winning children’s recording, “It’s Our World: the Green Album” (2009). The group is currently working on a new recording of Hans’ original songs.
Hans’ CDs for Kids/Families:
* Just a Little Hug
* See You Later Alligator
* Happy Little Elves
* Star of the Swing Set
* Good Morning
* Lullaby and Goodnight
* Funny Little Creatures
* It’s Our World: the Green Album
* Silly Biz: Hans Mayer Favorites
Hans’ Instrumental CDs:
* Nana’s Waltz
Hans’ CDs for Adults: