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07.21.2015 -

John Mellencamp's "Plain Spoken" tour ends in Indianapolis

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By: Rick Hinton AXS Contributor Jul 18, 2015

The final concert of the North American leg of John Mellencamp’s Plain Spoken Tour arrives in Indianapolis at the Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Tuesday, August 4, 2015. Hometown Indiana boy Mellencamp—“The Voice of the Heartland”—will circle back to where the tour originated in January of 2015 in his home state of Indiana (South Bend) to culminate at its final show in downtown Indianapolis.

Grammy award winning musician and Rock & Roll Hall of Famer John Mellencamp could have lived anywhere in his journey yet chose to remain in the southern Indiana region of his roots. It was these roots and ideals that have factored strongly in his music—touching the heart and souls of Midwestern ideology, and expanding far beyond the borders of the state of Indiana. There was the ‘rawness’ of his music at the beginning of his career that built the ties that bind. Now, this has been replaced by maturity and refinement as an older man looks back upon the trials and tribulations of his youth and adulthood.

In 2014 Mellencamp released the latest in his anthology of life as he sees it—Plain Spoken—on Republic Records. The compilation includes ten revelations from an artist who will never back down from saying what he feels. The New York Times gave its summary of the work, stating: “The music looks back toward ‘Blood on the Tracks’, with strummed guitars, brushes on the drums, neck-rack harmonica, and the words—ponder, trouble, power, love, God, freedom and mortality. Plain Spoken is set to be hailed as an unparalleled new chapter in Mellencamp’s distinctive songbook.”

Mellencamp has long been an advocate for social issues and quite outspoken at times. His involvement with Farm Aid concerts (along with musicians Willie Nelson and Neil Young) has raised over $45 million to further studies towards a resilient farm system of agriculture. And as a business man, he has made some rather bold moves as of late. In 2014 he signed what would be considered a historic “lifetime’ recording contract with Republic Records to include the release of Plain Spoken and all future albums.

The Plain Spoken Tour wraps up in Indianapolis, featuring songs off of his recent release, but also the old favorites that defines Mellencamp as a force to be reckoned with: Jack and Diane, , Pink Houses, Authority Song, Small Town, Rain on the Scarecrow, Check it Out, Paper in Fire, Cherry Bomb, and many others.

Opening act for John Mellencamp will be country singer Carlene Carter, the daughter of legend June Carter and first husband Carl Smith. Carlene became the step-daughter of country music icon Johnny Cash. She has recorded twelve albums over the span of her career, resulting in the release of more than twenty singles. She’s not afraid to branch out past her country roots, releasing a powerful duet with Robert Orrall in the early 1980s that still stands the test of time in 2015 about fractured relationships—"I Couldn’t Say No.”

John Mellencamp’s Plain Spoken Tour makes its final stop in Indianapolis on August 4th. Witness for yourself the years of music this Indiana boy has produced, and keep an open ear for what he has to say!

John Mellencamp’s Plain Spoken Tour, August 4, 2015, 7:30 p.m. at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, 125 South Pennsylvania Street, Indianapolis, Indiana, 46204. For ticket information call (800) 745-3000.

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