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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 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 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 - 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
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 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

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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!
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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
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