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06/18/2010 - Here are excerpts from the Music & Musicians Magazine Review By Chris Neal

When it comes time for the box-set treatment, most artist are content to line up a few discs' worth of hits and rarities and let 'em fly. John Mellencamp is not like most artists...

On the Rural Route 7609 is a four-CD collection that sets out to tell a story all its own, tracking connections among its songs and emphasize its author's current attitudes and concerns as much as his history. On the Rural route 7609 is as thoughtful, willful and knotty as the man himself...

Click "Read More" to read the complete review. Read More
06/18/2010 - By David Fricke - On The Rural Route 7609 Review - Handsome four-CD box set spans the Indiana rocker's career, from "Jack and Diane" to Woody Guthrie.

These four CDs come in a hardcover book with the heft and texture of a Dust Bowl-family photo album. The setting suits the purpose. This is a study in storytelling - Mellencamp's drive to probe and capture, with folk grit and a great rock band, the gross injustices and precious victories of American life. The hits come with context: "Jack and Diane" appears with two formative demos. But there is more emphasis on honoring, in songs like "Rural Route" and "Ghost Towns Along the Highway," " the Woody Guthrie ideal": a melody and truth to move the world. Read More
06/18/2010 - Music blog JSItop21.com's John Shelton Ivany reviews On The Rural Route 7609 in his current online newsletter issue #378. Here are some excerpts:

The musical background is diverse in tempo and style. Still, the tunes flow smoothly together around and over the rocks and mud in the riverbed of Mellencamp's country-boy-come- rock-philosopher life...

When Mellencamp writes from his soul, the outcome is poignant enough to implicate all of us who have rage in our heads and love in our chests...

This collection is not to be missed. If all you know is "Jack and Diane," dive in and get to know the intense, amazing wisdom and character behind the rock star...

Click "Read More" to read the complete review or click HERE to visit JSITop21.com.

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06/18/2010 - A photo of John is being featured in a new "1 for All" campaign designed to heighten public awareness of the First Amendment.

The campaign, which launches July 1, is an unprecedented collaborative effort of educators, artists, journalists, lawyers, librarians and others in promoting a greater understanding of the First Amendment and encouraging young people to learn more about it--while providing teachers with the tools they need to do a better job of teaching about freedom. Ellen DeGeneres and "Meet the Press" host David Gregory are also pictured in the print and online advertising, which will be shown in over 1,000 media outlets including Google, USA Today, the New York Times Company, Parade magazine, the Huffington Post, NPR and Yahoo.

John's image will run in August and will be accompanied by the following text: "Free to speak to write to pray to rock to tweet. Thanks to the First Amendment, you can be whoever and whatever you want to be. Learn more and cele Read More
06/18/2010 - From the AOL Radio Blog: 'No Better Than This' is the first single from John Mellencamp's upcoming studio album of the same name. The album was recorded in a variety of historically significant locations in the south while Mellencamp was on tour last summer.

Appropriately, the song 'No Better Than This' features a prominent rockabilly beat and lively, uncomplicated production. The lyrics portray a pretty happy guy reveling in the simple pleasures of romance and music: "Give me good loving / And seal it with a kiss / Drop me off where the music sounds / It can get no better than this."

Rather than shacking up in one studio to produce every song, Mellencamp found inspiration by moving to different locations and recording in quick, uncomplicated methods. The famous Sun Studios in Memphis and the Gunter Hotel in San Antonio -- reportedly the site of Robert Johnson's f Read More
06/18/2010 - Here are excerpts from the Critics At Large Review By John Corcelli

Mellencamp's songs are often a little subversive: on the outside they appear nostalgic and idealistic; but on the inside it's a much darker story. All told, they are compositions that lament a bruised and battered people and a worn-out countryside...

If the intent of this box set is to present John Mellencamp strictly as a songwriter rather than a rock star, then it succeeds majestically...

Click "Read More" to read the complete review. It is also available at the Cristics At Large website.
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06/18/2010 - Here is an excerpt from the Cape Cod Times Review By Ken Capobianco

"Mellencamp’s transformation from a generic, industry built rocker into one of the most eloquent and sharp-eyed chroniclers of the hopes and failures of America is one of rock music’s great stories... "

Click "Read More" to read the complete review. It is also available at the Cape Cod Times website.
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06/18/2010 - Here is an excerpt from the Springfield, MA Repubican by Kevin O'Hare:

"he is a perfect example of a guy who not satisfied with his early taste of stardom and decided to be something more..." (four stars)

Click "Read More" to read the complete review. It is also available at the The Republican website.
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06/18/2010 - Here is an excerpt from the Buzzine.com On The Rural Route 7609 review by Darryl Morden :

Rural Route 7609 is for those want to dig deeper. Much deeper...

His work over a quarter-century has proven to been compelling, probing, and yeah, darn tuneful as well. Motivations, inspirations, whims and focus are explained in detail in must-read liner notes from music journalist Anthony DeCurtis and Mellencamp...

Mellencamp is traveling those dark paths and, as it stands, On the Rural Route 7609 is not just another “box set.” It’s not the ultimate chronology of his work for more than 30 years. It’s not something for a single sitting. A good part of the selections come from his past decade, which finds him as vital as ever — charts, radio and all be damned. It’s Mellencamp’s opus — a treatise on a decaying America where hope and good still live. But you have to find it, and that’s the hardest part of the journey...

Click "Read More" to read the co Read More
06/17/2010 - Connecticut-based music blogger Errol Ame showed a true fan's understanding and appreciation of John’s work in his “TOP TEN” post, which was inspired by his random ipod shuffle-play of “Rodeo Clown.”

In a lengthy and personal reflection, Errol revisits his initiation to John’s work via “I Need a Lover”—which he first heard when he was a junior in high school—and “Hurts So Good.” He's particularly appealing when he reveals his sense of letdown when John accepted a major music industry award in the early 1980s in a white T-shirt (it was a black-tie event!) and said "something to the effect of 'I know you you people think I’m stupid but thanks anyway'" before walking off and robbing Errol of a coveted chance to impress his parents with his music taste.

Errol also cites another parents-annoying Mellencamp Moment in John's memorable Thanksgiving, 1987 concert in New York at Madison Square Garden. "Now I remember feeling uneasy about telling my parents that I was going to a Read More
06/16/2010 - Rolling Stone is giving away 5 autographed copies of John's new box set, On The Rural Route 7609! The contest is open now through June 30, 2010 so click HERE to head over to RollingStone.com to enter today! Read More
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 Mellencamp way.

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 shor Read More
06/14/2010 - By Mike Leonard

It’s a rare thing in the music world for an artist to release a four CD career retrospective that could be called ambitious.

All too often, retrospective means rehash.

But John Mellencamp worked assiduously to avoid that with “On the Rural Route 7609,” which is set for release Tuesday and covers territory from the beginning of his recording career in 1976 to the most recent tracks from 2009.

“I was really struck by how fresh all of this stuff sounded,” writer Anthony DeCurtis said in a phone interview last week. “I really do think it puts a new frame around what John has done over more than 30 years of making records.

“He’s found a voice over his last few records, and he’s gone back and I think traced that voice through all of his earlier work,” he went on. “So the stuff is familiar. It’s not like you hear it and say it doesn’t sound like him. But it really is a different angle and a different take on what his music has been and w Read More
06/14/2010 - Here are excerpts from the All Music Guide Review by Thom Jurek

Only John Mellencamp, whose career began with a series of wrong turns, raw determination, and the audaciousness to demand he be taken seriously could create a box set as strange, representative, and labyrinthine as On the Rural Route 7609. In the era of the track, Mellencamp has issued a massive, beautifully packaged, and exhaustively annotated four-disc career retrospective that doesn't lean on his hits...

The box isn't structured chronologically, but as four free standing albums, each with its own flavor and themes... Mellencamp reveals American darkness and violence, followed by Mellencamp's themes of personal accountability and consequence... Musically, there are no missteps; for all its winding paths and circles within circles, On Rural Route 7609 makes its case and perhaps sets a new standard for career retrospectives. Mellencamp is undoubtedly among the best rock & roll American singer/songwriters -- on or off Read More
06/11/2010 - AntiMusic.com has posted an extensive review of John's box set written by Anthony Kuzminski.

Here are some excerpts:

John Mellencamp has been among the best singer-songwriters the American landscape has ever produced. He appears to have found his muse and instead of chasing the tails of radio programmers, he has looked within and in 2008 created what may be possibly his greatest record, Life, Death, Love & Freedom...

Godfather to the alternative country movement and in truth, country radio today wouldn't be the same without records like The Lonesome Jubilee or Scarecrow. For every radio hit he had, there were two other songs just as remarkable on the respective records...

On the Rural Route 7609 helps pull Mellencamp's entire career into focus through interweaving themes and stories prevalent throughout Mellencamp's career...

Click Read More to read the full 2300 + word review or visit Read More
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