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12/06/2008 - “If you are a Mellencamp fan, don’t rely on dropping hints for Christmas presents go buy it for yourself. It will be the best musical investment you have made in years."

Life Death Love & Freedom - Article By: Henrie Geyser

Not all good things take time. John Mellencamp spent just 12 months recording what is probably his best ever album.

If you thought his 2007 effort 'Freedom Road' was great, wait until you hear him on 'Life Death Love and Freedom' — the man and his music are simply brilliant.

For most of the songs he has taken a few steps back in time to good old roots rock ‘n roll which is a perfect match for his raspy, drawling style.

But don’t expect pounding, blaring, jiving rock. This is bluesy country stuff — honest, sad, even dark and sombre at times and superbly set against the background of acoustic guitar, the likes of which I have not heard in years.

Mellencamp is an accomplished songwriter and musi Read More
12/05/2008 - This Is Your Life - By David Vienna

John Mellencamp made his career on straight-up rockers peppered with good, old fashioned political statements, although with a strictly Midwestern flavor. On Life, Death, Love and Freedom, the sound learns more toward gritty southern blues, with hints of gospel organ on songs like “Troubled Land” and bluegrass fiddle on tracks such as “John Cockers.” Produced by T. Bone Burnett, the man behind the wildly successful soundtrack to O Brother, Where Art Thou?, the album utilizes the XOΔE (CODE) system, which creates high-definition audio, nearly identical to the sound on the original master tapes.

The blind hope in Mellencamp’s previous hits is replaced with a mature, road-weary nostalgia. In the duet “A Ride Back Home,” he sings of being beaten down after a life of fighting for what he thinks is right. Despite the regret expressed in the songs, this is not a sad album. The entire collection has the feel of a great Read More
12/04/2008 - Wow what can I say, John was awesome in concert, he is amazing, I had been waiting 4 months since I got my ticket, and I tell you what I was not disappointed one little bit. And when John started to play acoustic, OMG I thought I was listening to a CD, His talent is amazing, and the crowd involvement was great. As soon as he came out on stage at Acer Arena, the crowd went mad. I will never forget this concert, People will be talking about it for ages. Cheers, Tracie Crick

Rod Laver Arena - Melbourne, AU - November 21st
What a thrill to see John back in Australia for his first tour since 1992. This time around back in Melbourne John didn’t disappoint; opening the show with a rousing, electric version of Pink Houses which brought the crowd to it’s feet and then quickly slid into Paper and Fire, a song he used to open the Lonesome Jubilee tour show all those years back. The crowd appreciated the touch of familiarity and clearly John’s years away from Australia had not lessened their Read More
12/04/2008 - John Mellencamp
Indiana’s finest singer; songwriter; artist and, occasionally, actor

MUSIC: My parents were only 20 years older than me and they were pretty active, so I heard Woody Guthrie, I heard Odetta, but at the same time I heard Julie London. My dad used to have bongo parties; they’d put on a record and bongo along to jazz records – rock music hadn’t really materialized in 1951. I love Dylan too, of course. I don’t prefer acoustic Bob or electric Bob; I prefer Bob of any kind and that includes his new records. There are very few people I admire in this world and he’s one. Highway 61 Revisited is the best record ever made. Dylan heard The Animals’ version of House Of The Rising Sun, which Bob had been playing himself. And he said, “Look what you can do to folk song.” That’s when he got Al Kooper and all those guys together and decided to make rock songs out of folk songs – it’s never been done so well since.

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12/04/2008 - Two of classic rock's biggest names - John Mellencamp and Sheryl Crow - joined forces for a night at Vector Arena. Reviewer Heather McCracken was there.

John Mellencamp & Sheryl Crow
Where: Vector Arena, Auckland
When: Wednesday, December 3

It was a moment near the end that seemed to sum it up best.

Winding up to the climax of Jack and Diane, John Mellencamp stopped and asked the crowd to take out their mobile phones and call someone at home to share in the moment.

"I've got time, I can wait," he said, picking up a front-row fan's phone and briefly chatting to their confused wife.

It was one of many folksy digressions during the show, which also included stories about Mellencamp's grandmother, about his three marriages, and playing at the White House.

Mellencamp was playing Auckland's Vector Arena with Sheryl Crow before heading to Wellington and Christchurch for winery gigs.

"I'm surprised ther Read More
12/02/2008 - Here is an article about John’s appearance before a Senate agriculture subcommittee in 1987 that was first posted HERE, that page includes a picture from the day.

Willie Nelson and John Mellencamp on Capitol Hill

Austin American Statesman
June 19, 1987
by Seth Kantor

An obscure Senate Agriculture subcommittee that normally doesn’t get a nickel’s worth of public attention had turnaway crowds Thursday when singers Willie Nelson and John Cougar Mellencamp testified on behalf of the nation’s struggling family farmers.

Nelson said: “In my state of Texas, 14,000 full-time farmers went out of business in the past year.

“I’ve been singing and entertaining in 400 cities in the past two years, and I can see that America’s farm crisis has worsened during that time. Rural people come up to me all the time with stories, and there’s none of them happy.”

Nelson is f Read More
11/28/2008 - Radio station WNEW has posted John’s Thanksgiving week radio special on their website for listening on demand.

Here is the setlist from the radio special:

Pink Houses, My Sweet Love, Check it Out, Minutes to Memories, Longest Days, Troubled Land, If I Die Sudden, Crumblin' Down, Jack & Diane

Click HERE for the WNEW.com play button to hear the full show, front-to-back without commercial interruption.

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11/25/2008 - John Mellencamp, Brisbane Entertainment Centre
Reviewer: Noel Mengel

The three singer-songwriters on the bill certainly have a common theme: triumph out of adversity.

Opening act Shane Nicholson, next-on-stage Sheryl Crow and headliner Mellencamp all have had to battle for respect and to pursue their careers on their own terms.

But what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, and also gives you plenty to write about. “Sisyphus, that’s me, I’m the guy always, rolling the rock back up the hill,” Mellencamp said before undertaking his first Australian tour in 15 years. Still, it’s easier to roll that rock when you have as many hits in the bank as Mellencamp does. Even though he’s been absent from our shores for so long, he took the stage looking much the same as he always has. Although he’s now 57.

The songs are well-preserved too, with the near sell-out audience getting straight to their feet as soon as they heard the familiar strains of songs s Read More
11/24/2008 - By Paul Cashmere - November 22 2008

A lot has happened since John Mellencamp last graced Australian soil. Not long after he was here last time, the first Bush was leaving power. Now that he is back, Baby Bush is the latest White House eviction.

Songs with America in the title sounded mucky under the Bush’s regimes. It is amazing how positive ‘R.O.C.K. In The U.S.A’ sounds again now that `the evil is departing the building`.

Not only did the Bush’s both bring the world to the brink of destruction, their dark cloud soured all that was great about American culture. I don’t think the average American ever realised how negative their country had been viewed from outside for the last 8 years.

It is great to see America so positive again. People like John Mellencamp have been responsible for painting the soundtrack to that landscape over the years.

Last night at Rod Laver Arena felt like a celebration of American music, with Sheryl Crow followe Read More
11/24/2008 - BIO brings viewers back to the Indiana roots of rebel, risk-taker and rock star John Mellencamp in the ninety-minute documentary special “Homeward Bound: John Mellencamp” premiering Thursday, December 11 at 9 PM ET/8 PM CT/10 PM PT.

His music defined a generation and this fiercely independent rocker recently earned a place in history as a Rock and Hall of Fame inductee, but through it all John Mellencamp never forgot his roots. Now for the first time, BIO follows Mellencamp as he travels back to his hometown of Seymour, Indiana, the ‘small town’ that changed his life forever.

“Homeward Bound: John Mellencamp” takes viewers through a present day visit to Mellencamp’s hometown to explore the local streets where the musician came of age, meet the people who inspired his music and journey with John back to the beginning of his career. From his early days as a struggling musician marked by hundreds of rejection letters and unruly crowds, to the embarrassing Johnny Cougar Read More
11/24/2008 - John Mellencamp’s July 31st concert at The Greek Theatre in Los Angeles is the focus of a Thanksgiving Week radio special, to be programmed over some 160 stations nationwide.

Wildfire Media and Hear Music's "The John Mellencamp Thanksgiving Special - Live at the Greek" features 35 minutes of music interspersed with 15 minutes of interview material supplied by veteran radio personality Dan Neer. Highlights of the show include Mellencamp’s comments on the concert (including his surprise at never having played the Greek in 35 years); his reflections on working with T-Bone Burnett and the production of “Life, Death, Love, and Freedom”; observations on “Minutes to Memories” prior to his solo acoustic concert performance of a song he wrote at age 33, and his thoughts on “Troubled Land.”

The Thanksgiving special will air on multiple radio formats over the next week—sometimes as many as three times per market. Key stations include Q104 in New York, KLOS in Los Angeles, and WDRV and WX Read More
11/24/2008 - VH1 Classic will show “Life, Death, Love and Freedom,” a documentary about Mellencamp’s latest album, starting Saturday, Nov. 29. The program will be accompanied by a block of Mellencamp’s classic music video clips.

“Life, Death, Love and Freedom” originally ran in July on The Biography Channel. It was filmed and produced by Matt Robertson, director of Mellencamp’s online videos for “Jena” and “My Sweet Love.”

Robertson was granted complete access to the album recording sessions and conducted in-depth interviews with Mellencamp, producer T Bone Burnett, Little Big Town’s Karen Fairchild and Mellencamp’s band. Following is the complete programming schedule, all times ET, please check local listings:

11/29/2008 8:00 AM Saturday
11/30/2008 9:30 AM Sunday
12/01/2008 2:30 PM Monday
12/03/2008 2:00 PM Wednesday
12/05/2008 8:00 AM Friday
12/07/2008 9:00 AM Sunday
12/08/2008 3:00 PM Monday
12/10/2008 12:00 PM Wednesday
12/11/2008 8 Read More
11/24/2008 - Music - John Mellencamp
Where: Rod Laver Arena, Friday
Reviewer: Neala Johnson

For a while there, it didn’t feel as if we were in Melbourne any more. Toto.

To the strains of Pink Houses, we were whisked away to Indiana – as good a place as any, given it’s the state John Mellencamp calls home – such was the Americana seeping off the stage, out of the songs, and through the performing style of Mellencamp and his six-piece band.

Something – maybe 57-year-old Mellencamp’s tendency to connect with his band more than his audience – didn’t feel right. But during Check It Out, it clicked: Mellencamps songs are iconic enough to do all the talking, and performing, for him .

Of course, Mellencamp then ditched the band for a solo acoustic, segment, and began yakkin’ his head off.

Not surprisingly to anyone who’s dipped into his music over 32 years of released albums, the man can tell a story.

The rocker, who foun Read More
11/23/2008 - Music - John Mellencamp and Sheryl Crow
Rod Laver Arena, November 21
Andrew Murfett Reviewer

Since John Mellencamp sold out the Rod Laver Arena almost 20 years ago, the venue (Flinders Park) and the artist (Johnny Cougar) have changed their names.

Johnny Cougar’s Lonesome Jubilee album was a multi-platinum smash with five hit singles regularly playing on stations such as EON-FM and 3XY.

Although the artist is still releasing albums, they are more refined roots and folks-based efforts, such as this year’s Life, Death, Love and Freedom his 18th original studio album, which was produced by the acclaimed producer T-bon Burnett. And the most likely place to hear Mellencamp on the radio today is classic hits stations Gold-FM.

So Friday night’s show had an air of nostalgia about it. While eager to splice some new material in, Mellencamp was conscious the 11, 000-strong crowd – largely baby boomers – was craving singalongs from Read More
11/22/2008 - No. 38 John Mellencamp - Life Death Love and Freedom Universal

John Mellencamp has been making fine roots-rock albums for more than 20 years, and pairing him here with T-Bone Burnett proved an inspired move. Life Death Love and Freedom explores the same adult themes as its title across skeletal ballads (Young Without Lovers) and spare shuffles (John Cockers). Mellencamp’s 60-cigs-a-day voice is the constant thread on this haunting exploration of the human condition.

Key Track: My Sweet Love

Click HERE for the full list of Q’s Top 50 Albums of 2008.
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