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John Mayer Responds to Lindsay Ell's 'Continuum' Project

When Lindsay Ell recorded The Continuum Project as an ode to her favorite musician, John Mayer, she had no idea she would actually get to talk to Mayer about the album. But that's exactly what happened, thanks to a chance encounter at a restaurant in California.

While eating at a steakhouse with a friend in West Hollywood, the friend noticed Mayer sitting at a nearby table, and Ell couldn't resist the opportunity to meet her musical idol.

“Out of all of the restaurants in Los Angeles,” Ell quips to PEOPLE, “John Mayer happens to be three tables away from me.”

The singer-songwriter notes that Mayer had not yet ordered, so she felt it was appropriate to quickly introduce herself.

“I was just like, ‘Hey, John, I’m Lindsay, I recorded Continuum,” Ell recounts.

Mayer said he had heard of the record, but hadn't had a chance to listen to it yet.

“He said, ‘I can’t wait to hear it," Ell says. "'I’m honored. Honestly, thank you.’”

Ell, one of country music's best guitar players, responded to Mayer, “Please don’t judge my guitar tones."

Although an arduous undertaking, the homework assignment was just what Ell needed to unleash the music she wanted to make.

“It really gave me the template to record my own album, The Project," Ell notes. "Even the single I have, ‘Criminal’ – I had recorded that song five times before I even met Kristian, and it wasn’t until doing The Continuum Project that I found the right formula to put it all together.”

The 29-year-old decided to release The Continuum Project, after fans kept requesting to hear the album that transformed her.

"Fans have fallen in love with The Project," Ell gushes to PopCulture.com. "Because they've heard about the story of how Kristian Bush and I recorded The Project, they asked to hear The Continuum Project, so that just came out a couple weeks ago. It's just been so fun to see fans fall in love with the music. He is a genius. He is a mad scientist and I love him."

Ell will join Keith Urban for the Canadian leg of his Graffiti U Tour later this year, and also sings with him on "Horses" from his Graffiti U album.

"I completely freaked out," Ell says of the chance to spend time with Urban on the road. "Let alone Keith featuring me on his record. If you were to tell 10-year-old Lindsay Ell that she was going to have a song on a Keith Urban record one day, I would have said you were crazy. But to get the call, and for Keith to be like, 'Hey Lindsay, would you sing on my record?' And then to get that call, 'Hey, do you want to tour with Keith in Canada?' He's such a wonderful human being and we are so excited."

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Both The Project and The Continuum Project are available for purchase at LindsayEll.com.

Photo Credit: Getty images/Jason Kempin