Rolling Stone: "Trouble No More Live" Album Review
07.18.2014 - By Andy Greene -
The war in Iraq was just weeks old when John Mellencamp released 2003's Trouble
No More, a collection of blues and folk covers that proved the protest song is
just about as old as music itself. This excellent live album documents a show
from that year at New York's Town Hall, featuring a complete performance of the
album plus a few old favorites – like a radically slowed-down "Small Town," a
barn-burning "Paper In Fire" and the inevitable finale of "Pink Houses." Just 11
years later, the concert already feels like a time capsule of a bygone era. A
cover of Bob Dylan's "Highway 61 Revisited" references Donald Rumsfeld, while
the traditional folk tune "To Washington" takes a swipe at Bush the younger: "He
wants to fight with many/And he says it's not for oil." If that sounds tame now,
remember that this was a time when the Dixie Chicks were being hung in effigy.
And while the timing of this release may seem a little random, it's a nice
reminder of how Mellencamp's music has evolved now that he's no longer trying to
score pop hits.