John Stars with Willie Nelson in Bob Dylan's 2009 Ballpark Tour
04.24.2009 - It's official: John is heading out on the road this summer with Bob Dylan and fellow Farm Aid founder Willie Nelson.
Today, Dylan announced John and Willie as the all-star roster for the tour, which is being called The Bob Dylan Show Ballpark Tour since the dates announced so far are scheduled at minor league baseball stadium venues. Additional dates featuring the threesome at more standard concert venues will be announced later, and will be called simply The Bob Dylan Show.
The 22-date ballpark tour is set to begin July 2 at GCS Ballpark in Sauget, Il. and conclude Aug. 15 at Banner Island Ballpark in Stockton, Ca. It marks just the second time in the past 24 years that these three performers have shared the concert stage.
In addition to the Bob Dylan Show Ballpark Tour stops announced today, it is anticipated that several more July and August Bob Dylan Show dates, also featuring John Mellencamp and Willie Nelson, will be added to the tour in the very near future.
Prior to the tour announcement, John took a moment to answer questions about the tour and his other current activities.
Q: What are your feelings about the tour?
JM: I grew up listening to Bob Dylan and Willie Nelson! Their songs and records were in my house from when I was pre-teen. So I'm really proud and happy to be on tour with these two artists. Very few people get to grow up and go out and tour with guys they've admired for so long.
Q: What can you say about your part of the show?
JM: We're going out there with the full band and we'll be playing material from over the past 30 years--a combination of new and old material including songs from "Life Death Love and Freedom" and songs that haven't been recorded yet. We'll be playing for about 75 minutes each night.
Q: Any chance you'll perform with the other guys?
JM: If it happens, it will happen organically.
Q: You perform regularly with Willie at Farm Aid. When was the last time you performed with Dylan?
JM: Bob was going to play a flood relief benefit in St. Louis with me in the early 1990s but we got flooded out, so this is really the first time since the original Farm Aid that we'll be on the same bill.
Q: You're still planning to record a new album during the tour?
JM: Yes. We'll be recording the new album on days off over the course of the tour. It just seemed like a good idea to do it this way: It gives the making of the album a new perspective and context--and it's something I've never done before. I've gone into Belmont Studio for the last 30 years to make records, and this is another way to do it.
Q: What about the box set?
JM: It will be a broad overview of my songwriting, and it will be much more about the writing than about the hit records or the versions of songs you may be familiar with.
Q: And what about your participation in the Pete Seeger birthday celebration concert in New York?
JM: You have to admire Pete for persevering for 90 years! He's the last of the great original American folk singers and has written or performed so many great songs. For just about all of his life, Pete Seeger has stood up for humanity, freedom and the environment.