02/23/2015 - When you hear the unfiltered roughness in John Mellencamp's voice during “The Isolation,” you're quickly aware that this popular roots rock singer from Indiana wasn't kidding when he titled his new album, Plain Spoken. With its added wheezy harmonica solo, Mellencamp gives this song a truly Dylan-esque sincerity. It comes off a lot like recent Dylan music, where the man has become quite the self-reflective one. Read Dan MacIntosh's complete review of Plain Spoken after the jump. Read More
02/18/2015 - Read Andy Argyrakis' complete review of the February 17th show at the Chicago Theatre after the jump. Here are some excerpts: " “If I Die Sudden” that found Mellencamp flexing those creative muscles the furthest as he firmly plucked the six string, dipped deep into a low southern register and practically summoned the ghost of that very Man In Black..."
" the troubadour’s fondness for taking risks, the closing segment was the reward for everyone who supported his 40 million album-selling commercial prime..."
"Mellencamp has always shot straight from the heart..." Read More
02/17/2015 - Kevin Grogan, director and curator of the museum, said that although a German Expressionist influence is evident in Mellencamp’s work, the artwork can’t be categorized as one specific style. He also said the “American Dreams” exhibition in Augusta is the last scheduled museum showing of the artwork.
“The thing about Mellencamp’s work that is so great for education is that his paintings all have stories in them, and they are layered stories and the characters are all prominent in his paintings,” Coffman said. “I think his work really lends itself to that storytelling process. Most of the people really liked it. The people that might have not liked it might have said: ‘Well, I don’t think I want that hanging in my house.’ But I think for us the thing that was so cool about Mellencamp was the people really engaged in the art work, and that is important, at least from an educator’s point of view.” Read More
02/16/2015 - Read Timothy Finn's Back To Rockville Music Blog after the jump. Here are some excertps: "Give it up for John Mellencamp. Forty-plus years into a career in music, he can still deliver a live show filled with energy and enthusiasm..."
A solid collection of introspective roots/Americana songs that prove a guy approaching his mid-60s can still put out some of the best music of his career..." Read More
02/16/2015 - Mellencamp kicked off the show with “Lawless Times" off his 2014 album “Plain
Spoken,” followed up by another new song, “Troubled Man.” From there it was a 30
year hop back to 1985 for “Minutes to Memories.”
On the latter song, Mellencamp seemed to be channeling Tom Waits, singing
with a raspy voice that perfectly matched the song’s beaten down lyrics. Read Joe Lawler's of Juice Magazine's complete Civic Center review after the jump. Read More
02/11/2015 - For the past 35 years, guitarist Mike Wanchic has stood right behind John
Mellencamp’s side on stage and in the studio. AXS recently sat down with the
veteran musician to speak about the bond with his world famous boss, insight
into their musical process and a glimpse inside Mellencamp’s 23rd studio
release, Plain Spoken. Read the complete article after the jump. Read More
02/11/2015 - Q: I have always wondered about the man on the cover of John Mellencamp’s album, The Lonesome Jubilee. Who is he?
A: When the time came to take the photo that would grace the cover of “The Lonesome Jubilee,” photographer Skeeter Hagler found the perfect location in the Midway Tavern in Elnora, Indiana. The only thing missing was a local working-class man to sit beside Mellencamp. The bartender suggested Woody Baker. Baker, a welder and metal fabricator, was brought to the photo site straight from work. Before the photo shoot, Mellencamp asked Baker if he knew who he was and Baker replied “I don’t have a clue who you are.” The Lonesome Jubilee became a Top Ten hit in 1987, sold millions of copies, and made Baker a local celebrity. He died in March 2009 at the age of 94. Read More
02/10/2015 - Read Kendra Meinert's of the Press Gazette complete review after the jump. Here are some excerpts: "Like a well-worn leather jacket from those days outside the Cherry Bomb, Mellencamp's music felt as timeless as it did nostalgic..."
"At 63, there's a grizzled quality to Mellencamp's vocals that gives added weight to the richness of his words, particularly for an artist who finds himself pondering his own mortality in his music these days..." Read More
02/08/2015 - John paid tribute to Bob Dylan at Friday Night's MusiCares event. Here is a description of John's performance by USA Today: "The musical high point in a night of many highlights was probably John Mellencamp’s interpretation of “Highway 61 Revisited”; with a vocal tone and timbre that channeled Tom Waits’, he made this usually scorching rocker into a blues dirge. Never has Mellencamp sounded so artful..."
MusiCares provides a safety net of critical assistance for music people in times of need, services and resources cover a wide range of financial, medical and personal emergencies.
After the star studded lineup paid tribute to Dylan, Bob himself accepted the honor with one of the longest and most impassioned speeches of his career.
Bob closed his speech with his support and appreciation for MusiCares which included a very touching mention of John, as transcribed by the
LA Times: "And then one day he got sick. And like my friend John Mellencamp would sing -- because John sang some truth today -- one day you get sick and you don't get better. That's from a song of his called "Life is Short Even on Its Longest Days." It's one of the better songs of the last few years, actually. I ain't lying.." Read More
02/06/2015 - Farm Aid co-founders Willie Nelson and John Mellencamp last night announced that the 30th annual Farm Aid celebration will take place this year on Sept. 19 (no city or venue yet announced). The pair represented Farm Aid at the 17th annual GRAMMY Foundation® Legacy Concert, where the GRAMMY Foundation honored the organization for its ability to harness the power of music for social change as the longest running concert for a cause. People who wish to support Farm Aid's Music Preservation Project and find out
more can do so online at
preservation.farmaid.org. Read the complete article after the jump.
Watch "A look at Farm Aid's thirty years of history working to keep family farmers on the land."
02/05/2015 - In wide-ranging chats last year with Esquire, Men's Health and "The Howard Stern Show," Mellencamp broached topics ranging from his early music to the pitfalls of success to living with regret. Here, then, are 10 nuggets of wisdom from the mouth of Mellencamp. Read More
02/05/2015 - Read Marcela Creps of the Bloomington Herald Times complete Indiana University Auditorium show review after the jump. Here are some excerpts: "Particularly stunning was his performance of “The Full Catastrophe...”
"Mellencamp proves that some things improve with age..." Read More
02/01/2015 - Read Chuck Yarborough's of The Cleveland
Plain Dealer complete review from last's night show at the Connor Theatre in Playhouse Square after the jump. Here are some excerpts: "The show-opening "Lawless Times,'' "Troubled Man'' and especially "The Isolation of Mister'' spotlight a poet who wisely used the years between youth and middle his 60s - Mellencamp is now 63 - to become the absolute master of songwriting..."
" the man's gift not just with a melody, but with lyrics that don't just tell a story; they capture a feeling..." Read More
02/01/2015 - "Mellencamp’s racked dozens of hits over the last three decades (the 2004 two-disc retrospective Words & Music is a perfect gateway for the uninitiated). And starting with late ‘90s fare like Rough Harvest and ‘00s discs Trouble No More and Freedom’s Road, he’s only gotten better at distilling American culture into four-minute, acoustic guitar-driven masterpieces. Grizzled yet grungy, the sexagenarian Mellencamp is a little Woody Guthrie, a pinch of Pete Seeger, and a bit of Bob Dylan rolled into one ferocious firecracker..." Read the 5 Star review of John's Playhouse Square show on January 31st in Cleveland, Ohio after the jump. Read More