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08/02/2017 - John Mellencamp produced an oil painting inspired by street art that pointedly declares, “Martin Luther King had a dream, and this ain’t it.” King deliberately looks nothing like the civil rights leader. Next to the painting is a bit of an artist statement from Mellencamp: “[It’s] not so much a portrait as a feeling, isn’t it? There’s no attempt to make it look like King, but the message eclipses the physical likeness. A painting has to be beautiful, even in its grotesqueness. That painting is grotesque, but I think it’s still beautiful.”

“Easy Target” on Mellencamp’s latest album, “Sad Clowns and Hillbillies,” falls into that category as well. It is a folk rock song that challenges white supremacy and the legacy of slavery in the United States.

In Mellencamp’s most potent verse, he sings, “So, Black lives matter / Who we trying to kid / Here’s an easy target / Don’t matter, never did.” “Crosses burning / Such a long time ago / 400 years and we still don’t, let it go.”

It opens like the ballad for an old time Western movie. Then, abruptly, the words, “Black lives matter,” subvert the abstract forlorn sentiment of the song, making it clear there is something deeper behind Mellencamp’s dejection and disappointment. Read the complete article after the jump.

Watch "Easy Target"

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08/02/2017 - Following the highly-successful first leg of the Sad Clowns & Hillbillies 2017 Tour, Mellencamp returns for a second round of Summer dates and will be joined by Special Guest Carlene Carter. Tickets are currently on sale for the last 12 shows, details onthe Mellencamp.com TOUR page. 

JOHN MELLENCAMP SAD CLOWNS & HILLBILLIES 2017 SUMMER TOUR DATES
August 04 - West Allis, WI - Wisconsin State Fair 
August 05 - Davenport, IA - Mississippi Valley Fair 
August 13 - Uncasville, CT - Mohegan Sun Arena 
August 14 - Boston, MA - Blue Hills Bank Pavilion 
August 19 - Des Moines, IA - Iowa State Fair  
August 20 - Springfield, IL - Illinois State Fair 
August 26 - Highland Park, IL - Ravinia Festival
August 27 - Highland Park, IL - Ravinia Festival 
August 29 - St Paul, MN - Minnesota State Fair 
August 31 - Allentown, PA - The Great Allentown Fair 
September 01 - Essex Junction, VT - Champlain Valley Fair 
September 03 - Canfield, OH - Canfield Fair Read More

07/24/2017 - Over the course of a career that has spanned decades, John Mellencamp has delivered the songs in his rock’n’roll heart against an ever-moving landscape of musical styles. He has accepted his fame with dignity, managing his role as rock star with class and keeping the music a part of a fickle Pop culture by recording the way he hears a song as opposed to fitting the tracks into a popular format. That ability to follow a muse rather than running with the pack continues on the most recent release from John Mellencamp, Sad Clowns and Hillbillies. Read the complete review after the jump. Read More
07/23/2017 - The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, located in Cleveland, OH, presents a special exhibit on the life, art and music of 2008 Inductee John Mellencamp. The exhibit, which opened November 10, 2016 in the Ahmet Ertegun Main Exhibition Hall, features over 100 items, including handwritten lyrics, guitars and paintings. “In working closely with John Mellencamp to create this exhibit, it was very clear that he embodies what rock and roll is all about – rebellion, being true to yourself, and, of course, making great music,” says Karen Herman, Vice President of Collections & Curatorial Affairs at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

“I would like this exhibit to let people know, or discover, that I really have spent my entire life living the way that I want to live, and doing what I want to do,” Mellencamp says. “And, that I consider myself the luckiest guy in the world for being able to do that.” Read the complete press release on Mellencamp.com, which  includes a list of some of the artifacts from John's personal collection contained in the exhibit. Learn more about the exhibit at RockHall.com. Watch the preview below and read the complete press release after the jump.

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07/13/2017 - Read Markos Papadatos first hand review of John's last show on the June/July Sad Clowns & Hillbillies Tour after the jump. Here is an excerpt: "The Verdict -
Overall, John Mellencamp was superlative at Forest Hills Stadium in Queens for one fun night of rock and roll. It is evident that his hits are timeless, and they will stand the test of time, and his new music was remarkable. He was able to put on a bad-ass live show in Forest Hills that garnered an A rating..." Read More
07/07/2017 - John Mellencamp once put out an album called Nothing Matters And What If It Did. But that was a long time ago in 1980, when he was known as John Cougar. Since then, the feisty Midwestern rocker has demonstrated that a great deal of things matter to him, from the plain-spoken, propulsive roots music heard on his mature albums to the workaday blue-collar men and women that have populated his songs for decades.

Thankfully, the Woody Guthrie populist from a red state also cares about entertaining his audience, and his Sad Clowns & Hillbillies tour — named after the 65-year-old Hoosier’s scrappy new album — is a well-plotted, multi-act package considerably bolstered by the presence of supporting acts Emmylou Harris, Carlene Carter, and vocal duo Lily & Madeleine. Read the complete review after the jump. Read More
07/06/2017 - Read Glenn Balboa's phone interview with John about playing Forest Hills this coming Tuesday, July 11th after the jump. Here is an excerpt: "Mellencamp says he’s interested in playing Forest Hills because of its tennis history, but “A stage is a stage.” “It’s one size fits all at this point,” he says. Read More
07/03/2017 - Jane Pauley of CBS Sunday Morning recently visited John at his Bloomington, IN property. The singer-songwriter talks to Jane Pauley about how he has suffered throughout his life, to varying degrees, from panic attacks. He also discusses creativity, from his painting, to how his gift for songwriting has evolved over time. Watch the video below and read the entire transcript of their interview together along with a bonus clip after the jump. Read More
06/30/2017 - Today, John Mellencamp journeys into the darkness of coal mining life in his reverent cover of Merle Travis' 1946 song "Dark as a Dungeon," recorded in support of National Geographic's acclaimed documentary about the mining industry, “From The Ashes.” See link to the song here and official music video featuring Mellencamp here.   Read the complete press release after the jump.

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06/28/2017 - In 1946, singer-songwriter Merle Travis wrote “Dark as a Dungeon” to describe the harsh and dangerous conditions that coal miners experienced every day. John Mellencamp recorded a special version of the song in support of From the Ashes, a new documentary about the legacy and future of the coal industry in the U.S. From the Ashes premiered Sunday June 25th on National Geographic Channel with repeats scheduled over the coming weeks. From now until July 3 you can watch the documentary on the film's website. To learn more about the film and how you can support coal dependent communities visit www.fromtheashesfilm.com.

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06/28/2017 - Read Melissa Ruggieri of the AJC's complete show review after the jump. Here are some excerpts: "he put down his guitar and expertly seethed during the still-bitter “Pop Singer” and punched the air to accentuate a note while strolling the stage for “Check it Out,” which featured lovely fiddle strains from Miriam Sturm..."

His voice a familiar, meaty rasp throughout the 90-minute show, Mellencamp unleashed his muscular defenses of the working class..." Read More
06/27/2017 - For his "Sad Clowns & Hillbillies" tour, John Mellencamp brought along Carlene Carter - the night's self-described hostess who appears on the recent album, as well as Emmylou Harris. Each iconic woman performed her own set, as well as joining in with the headliner's set. With Mellencamp dressed rather formally, this man introduced as being from Bloomington, Ind. put on a show both deep in content and emotion. Read Dan MacIntosh's complete LA Greek Theater show review after the jump. Read More
06/27/2017 - Just as Woody Guthrie and Lead Belly painted pictures of daily life and struggles in their day, perhaps the two best such troubadours of our time are Mellencamp and Willie Nelson. A person would be hard pressed to find finer realistic portrayals of our country and its people today than those being written and performed by Mellencamp. What makes his glimpses into the human condition so convincing, and so accurate is their inherent honesty. His protagonists are instantly recognizable in ourselves.

More than four decades on and Mellencamp is still gifting us illuminating portraits of who we are, how we see ourselves, and how we view the world we live in. His 23rd studio album Sad Clowns & Hillbillies, out on Republic Records, is a scintillating experience. Read Barry Kerzner's complete review after the jump. Read More
06/26/2017 - John taped an interview at his Indiana Art Studio with Jane Pauley of the CBS Sunday Morning Show, discussing his recent release Sad Clowns & Hillbillies, among other interesting and intriguing topics and even takes Jane on a motorcycle ride! CBS Sunday Morning airs at 9 AM ET. Check your local listings for airtimes.

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06/22/2017 - The Grammy-winning singer-songwriter discusses his career and latest album Sad Clowns & Hillbillies. Watch John's sit down interview with Tavis Smiley HERE Read More
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