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02/12/2015 - I’ve studied the Gospel of John before but always from afar, relying only on what I heard remotely.

Finally I had the opportunity to study it in person, to see and hear up close and confirm the messages I’d received previously.

In a way, you could call my trip to study the Gospel of John a pilgrimage. It was something I needed to do at least once in my lifetime.

I finally did Feb. 4, when I traveled to Bloomington. Read Kirk Johannesen complete "Rock & Roll Sermon" after the jump. Read More
02/11/2015 - For the past 35 years, guitarist Mike Wanchic has stood right behind John Mellencamp’s side on stage and in the studio. AXS recently sat down with the veteran musician to speak about the bond with his world famous boss, insight into their musical process and a glimpse inside Mellencamp’s 23rd studio release, Plain Spoken. Read the complete article after the jump. Read More
02/11/2015 - Q: I have always wondered about the man on the cover of John Mellencamp’s album, The Lonesome Jubilee. Who is he?

A: When the time came to take the photo that would grace the cover of “The Lonesome Jubilee,” photographer Skeeter Hagler found the perfect location in the Midway Tavern in Elnora, Indiana. The only thing missing was a local working-class man to sit beside Mellencamp. The bartender suggested Woody Baker. Baker, a welder and metal fabricator, was brought to the photo site straight from work. Before the photo shoot, Mellencamp asked Baker if he knew who he was and Baker replied “I don’t have a clue who you are.” The Lonesome Jubilee became a Top Ten hit in 1987, sold millions of copies, and made Baker a local celebrity. He died in March 2009 at the age of 94. Read More
02/10/2015 - Read Kendra Meinert's of the Press Gazette complete review after the jump. Here are some excerpts: "Like a well-worn leather jacket from those days outside the Cherry Bomb, Mellencamp's music felt as timeless as it did nostalgic..."

"At 63, there's a grizzled quality to Mellencamp's vocals that gives added weight to the richness of his words, particularly for an artist who finds himself pondering his own mortality in his music these days..." Read More
02/08/2015 - John paid tribute to Bob Dylan at Friday Night's MusiCares event. Here is a description of John's performance by USA Today: "The musical high point in a night of many highlights was probably John Mellencamp’s interpretation of “Highway 61 Revisited”; with a vocal tone and timbre that channeled Tom Waits’, he made this usually scorching rocker into a blues dirge. Never has Mellencamp sounded so artful..."

MusiCares provides a safety net of critical assistance for music people in times of need, services and resources cover a wide range of financial, medical and personal emergencies. After the star studded lineup paid tribute to Dylan, Bob himself accepted the honor with one of the longest and most impassioned speeches of his career.

Bob closed his speech with his support and appreciation for MusiCares which included a very touching mention of John, as transcribed by the LA Times: "And then one day he got sick. And like my friend John Mellencamp would sing -- because John sang some truth today -- one day you get sick and you don't get better. That's from a song of his called "Life is Short Even on Its Longest Days." It's one of the better songs of the last few years, actually. I ain't lying.." Read More
02/06/2015 - Farm Aid co-founders Willie Nelson and John Mellencamp last night announced that the 30th annual Farm Aid celebration will take place this year on Sept. 19 (no city or venue yet announced). The pair represented Farm Aid at the 17th annual GRAMMY Foundation® Legacy Concert, where the GRAMMY Foundation honored the organization for its ability to harness the power of music for social change as the longest running concert for a cause. People who wish to support Farm Aid's Music Preservation Project and find out more can do so online at preservation.farmaid.org. Read the complete article after the jump.

Watch "A look at Farm Aid's thirty years of history working to keep family farmers on the land." Read More
02/05/2015 - In wide-ranging chats last year with Esquire, Men's Health and "The Howard Stern Show," Mellencamp broached topics ranging from his early music to the pitfalls of success to living with regret. Here, then, are 10 nuggets of wisdom from the mouth of Mellencamp. Read More
02/05/2015 - Read Marcela Creps of the Bloomington Herald Times complete Indiana University Auditorium show review after the jump. Here are some excerpts: "Particularly stunning was his performance of “The Full Catastrophe...”

"Mellencamp proves that some things improve with age..." Read More
02/01/2015 - Read Chuck Yarborough's of The Cleveland Plain Dealer complete review from last's night show at the Connor Theatre in Playhouse Square after the jump. Here are some excerpts: "The show-opening "Lawless Times,'' "Troubled Man'' and especially "The Isolation of Mister'' spotlight a poet who wisely used the years between youth and middle his 60s - Mellencamp is now 63 - to become the absolute master of songwriting..."

" the man's gift not just with a melody, but with lyrics that don't just tell a story; they capture a feeling..." Read More
02/01/2015 - "Mellencamp’s racked dozens of hits over the last three decades (the 2004 two-disc retrospective Words & Music is a perfect gateway for the uninitiated). And starting with late ‘90s fare like Rough Harvest and ‘00s discs Trouble No More and Freedom’s Road, he’s only gotten better at distilling American culture into four-minute, acoustic guitar-driven masterpieces. Grizzled yet grungy, the sexagenarian Mellencamp is a little Woody Guthrie, a pinch of Pete Seeger, and a bit of Bob Dylan rolled into one ferocious firecracker..." Read the 5 Star review of John's Playhouse Square show on January 31st in Cleveland, Ohio after the jump. Read More
01/29/2015 - Heartland rocker's raucous Ryman Auditorium concert reveals his influence on today's country music

 While Jack White was raging across the street at the Bridgestone Arena and duetting with Loretta Lynn, John Mellencamp performed the second of a two-night stand at Nashville's historic Ryman Auditorium, and the through-line between the aging — but still cigarette-puffing — heartland artist's catalog and the country music of today couldn't have been more apparent.

Long before Jason Aldean was singing about taking the tractor for another ride under the "Amarillo Sky" or Justin Moore was celebrating the tiny dots on the map in "Small Town U.S.A.," Mellencamp was writing world-wearied country rockers about a fading farming culture, the small-town lifestyle and, that tent pole of contemporary country, nostalgia. The increasingly Americana-leaning singer touched all of those bases during his sets at the Ryman. Here are the eight songs that best connected the dots. Read More
01/28/2015 - This month, the Morris Museum of Art in Augusta, Ga., opened an exhibit of 50 paintings by John Mellencamp. Read Ellen Gamerman's complete interview with John after the jump. “I don’t know if we’re really painters, but we paint,” Mr. Mellencamp said of prominent musicians who are stepping up to the easel. The artist, who works in a corrugated-tin studio just down the road from his home in Indiana, said creative people can find expression in more than one medium: “If you really are open to painting every day, surely you’re going to step onto something great once in a while. Surely a blind pig can find an acorn every now and then...”

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01/25/2015 - Read Brian Wagner's from Out Of The Blue Publications show review at the Aronoff Center for the Arts in Cincinnati, OH after the jump. Here are some excerpts: "His songs bring back an innocence and introspection that made the crowd all feel 20 years younger.

As Mellencamp walked off stage to thunderous applause, it was obvious he had made us all feel like we were young again sharing his songs with each other..." Read More
01/24/2015 - Jeffrey Lee Puckett of The Courier Journal reviews John's sold out second show on the 2015 Plain Spoken Tour at the Louisville Palace. Here is an excerpt: "Launching into “Small Town,” and it was all over at that moment: The room was his, we were a family of fans, a collection of lawless women and troubled men celebrating a moment when everything felt pretty great despite the long odds..." Read the complete review after the jump. Read More
01/22/2015 - Read Andrew Hughes of the South Bend Tribune complete review of John's opening night on the 2015 Plain Spoken Tour at the Morris Performing Arts Center after the jump. Here are some excerpts: "With 2008’s “Life, Death, Love and Freedom,” 2010’s “No Better Than This” and the September release of “Plain Spoken,” Mellencamp has delivered three of the finest albums of his career..."

"A rock band playing with maximum passion and communal bonding with the audience..."

"79 dates ahead to mine the roots of American music and investigate what it means to live and die..." Read More
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