06/10/2010 - By David Browne - Article photo by Kurt Markus|
John Mellencamp admits he wasn't stoked about compiling On the Rural Route
7609, his new four-disc retrospective. "I didn't have any interest in doing a
box set - I know what happens with them," he says, "You go to the hits and you
skip the rest." But the rocker saw an opportunity to turn casual fans on to his
deep cuts - so each disc intersperses hits with lesser-known album tracks in
non-chronological order. "People will discover that I have songs besides 'Pink
Houses,'" he says. But it's not like Mellencamp, 58, is living in the past: In
August, he'll release a new album, the T Bone Burnett - produced No Better
Than This. And in 2012, he'll premiere Ghost Brothers of Darkland County,
the musical he co-wrote with Stephen King. An LP of music from the show -
featuring Elvis Costello and Rosanne Cash - is also in the can. In the meantime,
Mellencamp reflects on some key tracks from Read More
06/09/2010 - Quick Spins June 2010 - By Chris M. Junior|
If there's any doubt remaining whether John Mellencamp is one of rock’s best singer/songwriters of the past 30 years, then On the Rural Route 7609 (due June 15) should take care of that.
This four-disc set, packaged in a sturdy, photo album-sized format, features select key Mellencamp hits in their original, demo and re-recorded forms, but the focus is on album tracks, among them "Jackie Brown," one of the best songs he’s ever written. It’s great to finally hear Mellencamp’s version of "Colored Lights," which he wrote for The Blasters. Lyrics, liner notes by Anthony DeCurtis and track-by-track commentary from Mellencamp round out this unconventional (yet worthwhile) boxed set.
Click HERE to read the article on the Medleyville.us website. Read More
05/26/2010 - John appears in four one-hour “Farm Aid Presents” specials taped at Farm Aid 2009, airing on The 101 Network on DIRECTV. The specials feature highlights from the day long concert held in October outside of St. Louis, MO.|
Each one-hour episode includes a song from John's stellar set.
"Farm Aid Presents Wilco & Friends" will air on:
-6/27 @ 7 am EST
-6/29 @ 5 pm EST
-7/01 @ 7 am EST
-7/03 @ 5 am EST
"Farm Aid Presents Gretchen Wilson & Friends" will air on:
-6/22 @ 3 pm EST
-6/26 @ 12pm EST
-6/28 @ 4 pm EST
-7/03 @ 9 am EST
"Farm Aid Presents Jason Mraz & Friends" will air on:
-6/24 @ 8 am EST - 4 pm EST
-7/04 @ 711 pm EST/PT
"Farm Aid Presents Jamey Johnson & Friends" will air on:
-6/30 @ 3 pm EST
-7/03 @ 4 pm EST
05/25/2010 - The release of John's box set, On The Rural Route 7609, is a great time to show your support of John and help spread the word of his career and music.|
The best way to do that is through direct communication with your friends and family. Facebook, Twitter, Blogs offer a great way to do that.
We have several different ways below you could spread the word of the project: the interactive box set preview. YouTube preview video and promotional banners.
Interactive Box Set Preview
We have created a preview site for the box letting you hear 90 second samples of
several tracks and browse 16 pages of the book Click HERE
to check out the box set preview! While viewing, use the tool on the top left to
forward it to your friends to check out or post it on your Facebook/Twitter/MySpace
pages to help spread the word about John and his music!
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
05/20/2010 - |
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'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
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