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05/24/2010 - A 55-year-old reel-to-reel Ampex tape recorder, a single microphone and three historic recording sites were John Mellencamp's tools for making his new album, "No Better Than This," which is due out Aug. 17 -- seven weeks after he releases a retrospective box set, "On the Rural Route 7609."

Mellencamp and producer T-Bone Burnett recorded the 13 mono, unoverdubbed tracks for "No Better Than This" during the summer of 2009, while the Indiana Rock and Roll Hall of Famer was on the road with Bob Dylan and Willie Nelson. Using members of Mellencamp's band and guests like guitarist Marc Ribot and former Johnny Cash upright bassist Dave Roe, they set up shop at Sun Studios in Memphis, Room 414 of the Gunter Hotel in San Antonio -- where Robert Johnson made his first recordings in November of 1936 -- and in the First African Baptist Church in Savannah, Ga., the inaugural black church in America and a stop on the underground railroad during the Civil War. Read More
05/24/2010 - MusicWorthBuying's.com Robert and TJR discuss John's new release On The Rural Route 7609 on their latest YouTube music review. Click HERE to view the music review video. Read More
05/20/2010 -

His holiness the Dalai Lama embraces John after his performance of "Save Some Time To Dream" in Bloomington on May 13th, 2010. Photo by Kessara Dhana

John's solo acoustic performance of "Save Some Time To Dream" last Thursday at a small luncheon gathering at the Tibetan Cultural Center in Bloomington prompted the Dalai Lama to reference the song's lyrics in his informal remarks prior to taking questions from the invited attendees.

First Elaine, who accompanied the spiritual leader from the airport and is a staunch supporter of the center, thanked him for his visit to Indiana and "all his words of inspiration." She then introduced her husband simply as "a recording artist" who would sing a song in his honor.

"Save Some Time To Dream," of course, is a key cut on John's forthco Read More
05/20/2010 - The first review of On the Rural Route 7609 is out and it's a doozy. No Depression blogger Adam Sheets, an admitted "Mellen-maniac," takes the comprehensive cut-by-cut approach in relating the four-disc box set's entire contents.

"I have previously written on this site about John Mellencamp and his place in the Americana community and with On the Rural Route 7609, a box set which will be released on June 15, the music speaks for itself," writes Sheets. "Over the course of the set's four discs, many different sides of Mellencamp and his music are revealed and since the box focuses on album tracks and outtakes as opposed to hits, there are many songs here that will be new to even die-hard fans."

Noting that those desiring pop hits like "Small Town" and "Hurts So Good" "can look elsewhere," the accommodating Read More
05/14/2010 - So maybe you've seen the photo of John and Elaine walking the streets of New York, John with a silver-knobbed walking stick in one hand, in the other a more expected, three inch stick that was burning at one end.

So here's why they were in town:

He and Elaine greeted a dozen or so Rounder Records executives who had bused in from their Boston headquarters to listen to "No Better Than This," which Rounder will release on August 3. They gathered at The Magic Shop, a tiny Soho studio where any number of great records have been cut, mixed and/or restored, including albums by Sam Cooke, Woody Guthrie and the Rolling Stones.

It was John's first album-listening event for label brass in over a decade he said softly at the outset--something, he added not surprisingly, "I don't like to do."

But he bit the bullet--and enthralled his new marketing/promotional team with tales of the album's recording process, prior to leaving them alone to savor it via th Read More
04/25/2010 - John Mellencamp and band will head out on the road this Summer for a few shows in Canada, as part of a short tour, including a visit to Rock Fest 2010 in Cadott, WI on July 17th.

July 13 - Casino Rama, Orillia, ON - Tickets On Sale Now
July 14 - Casino Rama, Orillia, ON - Tickets On Sale Now

July 15 - The Colosseum at Caesars Windsor, Windsor, ON:
Presale: Read More
04/25/2010 - John's classic "Pink Houses" is going to be tackled by the cast of Fox's hit comedy-drama series Glee. The song will be featured on the May 11th episode. Glee, a breakout hit of the Spring 2010 TV season, centers around a fictional high school glee club and finds the group tackling popular songs on each week's episode. Songs performed on the show are released on iTunes for purchase. Read More
04/06/2010 - We haven't heard John's four-disc “On The Rural Route 7609” box set (to be released in time for Father’s Day)--at least not the way its 54 tracks have been compiled and sequenced. But we have had a sneak peek at Anthony DeCurtis's cut-by-cut liner notes--and now have a much better understanding of John's concept.

You'll recall how he's previously explained his focus on album material that he feels has been overlooked because of the huge pop hits that tended to dominate those albums--and his decision to arrange the songs as if they comprise four new and distinct albums, rather than in the chronological order of most box set career retrospectives. Well, it all makes more sense now that we've read the notes, in which John tells Grammy-winning Rolling Stone contributor DeCurtis about the varied origins of his songwriting.

For his part, DeCurtis offers thoughtful commentary. As he writes in reference to the first song "Longest Days"--which was inspired b Read More
04/05/2010 - For the second consecutive year, John has been nominated for a CMT Music Award--and again with Little Big Town's Karen Fairchild.

The video for "A Ride Back Home" from Life, Death, Love & Freedom is up for the Collaborative Video of the Year Award. The clip was shot last year at the nondenominational Beck Chapel on the Indiana University campus in Bloomington—where Mike Wanchic was married. A CMT camera crew was present at the shoot and interviewed both John and Karen for a “making of” piece that was shown on the country music video outlet as part of an extensive promotion coinciding with the premiere of the clip on the country video channel last May.

The award will be presented during the ninth annual CMT Music Awards show, to be broadcast live from Nashville's Bridgestone Arena on June 9th at 8 p.m. ET.

The "Ride Back Home" clip is up against “Best Days of Your Life” (starring Kellie Pickler and Taylor Swift), “Heaven” (Jason Read More
03/17/2010 - Tony, our keenly observant web master, recently pointed out how many country singers have covered John’s songs—either in concert or on record.

Sure enough, the list would include Toby Keith, Kenny Chesney, Keith Urban, Trisha Yearwood, and of course, Little Big Town, just to name a few.

And then there’s Travis Tritt, who in 2004 enlisted John to join in on “What Say You.” A bold expression of tolerance of opposing viewpoints--Tritt politically balancing lefty John on the right--the song was a country hit, and a perfect meeting of music styles, if not of the political minds.

“First, I'm a big fan of John's music,” Tritt told USA Today at the time. “I also respect his integrity, that he does things the way he thinks they should be done, which is the way I run my career. And I thought our voices would work well together.”

Younger country act Little Big Town, which has recorded and performed live with John, obviously feels the same. Toby Keith, the latest in the line Read More
03/16/2010 - SOMERVILLE, Mass. “Farm Aid 25: Growing Hope for America” is the theme of the quarter-century anniversary of Farm Aid, the nonprofit organization led by board members Willie Nelson, Neil Young, John Mellencamp and Dave Matthews. Farm Aid’s mission is to keep family farmers on the land and to create a family farm-centered food system in America.

Farm Aid representatives say planning for the 25th anniversary concert and the events leading up to it is in the works. Concert events will celebrate the contribution the organization has made to supporting family farmers and showcase the positive, sustainable future that family farmers are growing through their hard work every day. All across the country, family farmers are rebuilding local and regional food systems and re-energizing the economy.

“In 1985, we started out to save the family farmer. Now it looks like the family farmer is going to save us,” said Farm Aid president Willie Nelson. “As our nation continues to end Read More
03/08/2010 - On Tuesday, March 9th, the “Double Indemnity episode of the hit CBS TV series “NCIS” featured John’s “Someday The Rains My Fall.”

The tune was recorded in San Antonio during last year’s sessions for John’s forthcoming “No Better Than This” album. It was released last November on “NCIS: The Official TV Soundtrackl—Vol. 2.”

Previously, “Troubled Land,” one of the key tracks from “Life Death Love & Freedom,” appeared on the first “NCIS” volume. Read More
02/26/2010 - By Adam Sheets - Sometime in the next week as part of my job, I will be writing a newspaper review of the new Johnny Cash album. However, I will probably not post it here because it will probably not live up to the high standards of this site. To be honest, I'm not really looking forward to it.

"What?," you ask, "You're not looking forward to new Johnny Cash?!" Of course I am looking forward to the music itself; in fact, I can hardly wait until tomorrow for the release, but what I am not looking forward to is writing a review whose intended audience is people who did not know Johnny Cash ever existed until after he was dead.

That is why I am thankful for No Depression and the great work done by all of you here. You guys actually care about quality music and a good blog post or video on this site can brighten up a bad day. I'm hoping the following can maybe do the same for one of you.

Prior to my discovery of more “underground” America Read More
02/20/2010 - Last night’s 21st annual Pollstar Concert Industry Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. recognized last summer’s Bob Dylan/John Mellencamp/Willie Nelson tour as the Most Creative Tour Package.

The event is staged by the Pollstar trade publication, which covers the worldwide concert industry in a weekly print magazine and daily Web service. Read More
02/18/2010 - John's official Fan Club, ClubCherryBomb.net, is partnering with Rock Fest to make available a limited number of one day VIP tickets only for PAID Club members. They will include a July 17th ticket in the reserved seating area right in front of the stage, along with complimentary lunch, dinner, drinks, VIP area and parking. This is a limited offer and only available here. Typically VIP tickets are only sold in a package for all four nights but Rock Fest and Club Cherry Bomb have come together for this exclusive offer for the PAID club member!

The one day VIP tickets will be $176.50 plus taxes and fees each and will be sold directly via phone by Rock Fest using a PAID Club member exclusive password. The presale will begin on Friday February 19th, please watch the Club TOUR page for details. Visit their Read More
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