San Antonio Express: On The Rural Route 7609 Review
06.15.2010 - By Jim Beal Jr.
It's been a long time since John Mellencamp hasn't done things his way. When
it came time to compile a career retrospective, the singer, songwriter,
heartland rocker, painter, advocate for the family farmer and Americana
godfather from Indiana could have hired someone to do the job. That's not the
For this four CD/fancy book package, with excellent liner notes penned by
Anthony DeCurtis, Mellencamp jumped headfirst into the archives. He selected
hits, demos, rarities, songs from a bunch of albums and a few spoken-word
pieces, including one featuring his grandmother, Laura Mellencamp. Mellencamp
then put them all together, not in chronological order, but in an order that
flows something like a live show.
With 54 tracks, lyrics and essays about each entry, On the Rural Route 7609 is a
heavy-duty, but nowhere near ponderous, look at Mellencamp as a songwriter. If
you hit the rural route with John Mellencamp, it's not a short ride, but there
are rewards, lots of 'em, along the way.