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01/02/2009 - “Longest Days” - John Mellencamp: Mellencamp’s full-circle tale of life’s hopefuls descends into harsher realities when “you know you got no flame.” He opens up his soul to a new level of craftsmanship through a worn guitar and his raspy, twang-laden voice. Click HERE to see the full list. Read More
01/02/2009 - I couldn’t find the Bio Channel on my cable system—which doesn’t mean it wasn’t there!—but as I’d been interviewed at length for “Homeward Bound: John Mellencamp” (half an hour, at least!) the producer sent me a copy. I only decided to watch it, though, after notifying everyone I knew about it (“Hey! I’m gonna be in this GREAT John Mellencamp documentary”), especially those I knew back in Wisconsin when I first started telling people about Johnny Cougar (“See! I TOLD you he’d be a big star—and more important, look how big I am!”), only to hear back, “But you were only in it for maybe 10 seconds!”

Yes, maybe it was 10 seconds, total, in two appearances—but pure genius, of course. “They see themselves, they hear themselves in his music,” I say right at the beginning—at least I think it’s me, talking about John’s fans and their incredibly close relationship with him. But it’s a voiceover and I’m not really sure (mainly because even after over 25 years of living in New York I st Read More
01/01/2009 - Writer Brandon Daviet (who also writes for Colorado’s The Marquee entertainment magazine) placed LDL&F as his top album of 2008.

Number One: John Mellencamp / Life, Death, Love and Freedom - John Mellencamp promised and delivered with what might not be the year’s most danceable record but is certainly its most important. With a country in financial turmoil tracks like “Troubled Land” and “Longest Days” accurately reflect the emotions of many Americans. Other songs like “If I Die Sudden” tackle the loss of faith, while the politically charged “Jenna” is an open letter against racism. In a year when little Katy Perry has swept the charts with her pseudo-lesbian fantasies, Mellencamp manages to remind us that not everybody in America is incapacitated by simple pop ditties, shiny I-phones, and American Idol. Click HERE for his full list. Read More
12/31/2008 - John’s 2008 album made the Schenectady (NY) Daily Gazette top album list compiled by music writers Michael Hochanadel and Brian McElhiney and features editor Dick Bennett.

John Mellencamp: “Life Death Love and Freedom” — The influence of producer T Bone Burnett is evident here in what may be the best album of Mellencamp’s career. It’s a darker, stripped down, more bluesy sound for the singer/songwriter who tackles such weighty subjects as racism in a small Louisiana town. (Bennett)
Click HERE to see their full list. Read More
12/31/2008 - John’s new album landed at #11 on Saskatchewan's Leader-Post writer Jordan Zivitz's Top 20.

John Mellencamp: Life Death Love and Freedom (Hear Music) - An unflinching look at mortality and a world gone wrong, this late-career renaissance convincingly casts Mellencamp as a contemporary-folk great.
Click HERE to see his full list. Read More
12/23/2008 - Variety.com writer Phil Gallo places John’s 2008 release “Life, Death, Love and Freedom” at #7 on his list of “50 albums released in ’08 that I am glad are in my collection.” Click HERE, to see his full list. Read More
12/19/2008 - Buffalo News writer Jeff Miers praises John’s most recent album on his year end list:

John Mellencamp, “Life Death Love & Freedom” (Hear Music): Mellencamp is at his best when fueled by righteous anger. Here, the sympathetic production afforded by T-Bone Burnett helps to craft an instant classic.
Click HERE to read this article online. Read More
12/18/2008 - The restless voice of ornery America, John Mellencamp has spent three decades railing against injustice and conservatism. Now, on the eve of the US election, MOJO find him contemplating his own mortality on the set of Elvis Costello’s new TV show…

Words: Phil Sutcliffe, Portrait: Elaine Mellencamp
This article includes some great photos and should be available at select bookstores and newsstands that sell import magazines.

“Do you know what’s been happening today?” John Mellencamp enquires, responding briskly to a broad opening question about his “left-wing Democrat” politics. Well, it’s September 15 in New York City and, thus far, leading investments bank Lehman Bros has gone bankrupt, the Bank of Americas has rescued broke stockbroker Merrill Lynch, and American’s largest insurance company, AIG has announced it needs $80 billion pronto or it’s going to belly-up.

Assured that MOJO’s got the gist, Mellencamp proceeds with his smoke break cum photo ses Read More
12/13/2008 - A&E's Bio Channel has posted three outtake clips on their website from the recently premiered "Homeward Bound: John Mellencamp" documentary. The clips include John’s reflections on the first incarnation of the Johnny Cougar band, his worst gig ever, and his painting process and its application to music. Click HERE to view the clips on Bio.com.
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12/13/2008 - During his October trip to the U.K. to receive Q Magazine’s prestigious “Classic Songwriter” award, John met with BBC Radio 2’s legendary DJ Johnny Walker. Besides an in-depth interview involving the making Life, Death, Love & Freedom, John performs solo acoustic versions of “Longest Days” and “Minutes To Memories.”
Click HERE for the BBC Radio 2 site to listen to the segment online.

Click HERE for the BBC iPlayer Radio Console to listen online.
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12/12/2008 - John Mellencamp has completed his whirlwind month-long tour of Australia and New Zealand, and by all accounts it was a triumph. As a reviewer for The West Australian wrote of the tour-opening Nov. 15 “Evening on the Green” show at the Sandalford Winery in Caversham, “It would be easy to see John Mellencamp’s set simply as a collection of great songs. Here was a chance to apply metaphor to a body of work which still after all these years is pointedly relevant. But first, it was time to party a bit.”

Playing to as many as 10,000-plus fans each night, Mellencamp did indeed party down, to approximately 100,000 fans from the Sandalford show through the Dec. 7 tour finale at the Mudhouse Winery in Christchurch, New Zealand. The 12-show tour stops were in places Mellencamp had not visited in over 15 years—one reason, perhaps, as to why he was so talkative during the shows (especially regarding outgoing President Bush).

Tour highlights included his nightly performance of “I Need a Lover,” the so Read More
12/11/2008 - By Mike Leonard

Rock star and Bloomington resident John Mellencamp performs at the Crump Theater in Columbus in this still from tonight’s 90-minute documentary special “Homeward Bound: John Mellencamp,” airing on the Biography channel.

John Mellencamp has never enjoyed spending much time talking about how he got saddled with the stage name of Johnny Cougar.

It was an embarrassing and infuriating marketing decision made by his manager at the time and enforced with the threat of “no name change, no record.”

For years, the moniker was more like an anchor around the neck of the 57-year-old Seymour native and longtime Bloomington resident. Few fans or critics were willing to take seriously a cat named Cougar, or even the artist formerly known as.

“Are we through talking about this now?” Mellencamp asks on camera during the new 90-minute documentary, “Homeward Bound: John Mellencamp,” which premieres at 9 tonight on the Biography channel Read More
12/10/2008 - Rolling Stone magazine’s new year-end double-issue cites “Life, Death, Love & Freedom” as the #5 album of 2008.

The December 25th issue, which features Brad Pitt on the cover, places the critically acclaimed John Mellencamp album just behind My Morning Jacket’s “Evil Urges.” The top three spots are taken by TV on the Radio’s “Dear Science,” Bob Dylan’s “The Bootleg Series, Vol. 8: Tell Tale Signs - Rare and Unreleased 1989-2006” and Lil Wayne’s “Tha Carter III.”

“John Mellencamp’s growling fatalism and T Bone Burnett’s scorched-blues production make this the darkest, most compelling Mellencamp album in years,” said Rolling Stone in the blurb accompanying its prestigious 50 Best Albums of 2008 listing. “It is also the perfect run-up to Election Day: Fourteen songs about a nation going broke and a generation on the ropes.”

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12/10/2008 - John Mellencamp’s music, A&E’s Biography (BIO) Channel rightly declares, “defined a generation.” Its new “Homeward Bound: John Mellencamp” documentary special, debuting Thursday, December 11th, shows how Mellencamp’s music developed out of his Indiana roots.

The 90-minute program visits Mellencamp’s hometown of Seymour and meets with the people who inspired his music and covers early career high—and low—points. The special features archival footage, personal photos, and interviews with childhood friends, band members, and other key people in his life. Bonus concert performances of several songs, including cuts from John's new album “Life, Death, Love & Freedom” are included.

According to Producer Anthony Uro, the documentary “really gives viewers an in-depth look at the John Mellencamp most people don’t see, because it’s not only about John, the successful rock star, it also paints a very detailed picture of John’s early life and career before he was famous, and the people, place Read More
12/09/2008 - As noted, the 90-minute program visits Mellencamp’s hometown of Seymour and meets with the people who inspired his music and covers early career high—and low—points. The special features archival footage, personal photos, and interviews with childhood friends, band members, and other key people in his life. Bonus concert performances of several songs, including cuts from John's new album “Life, Death, Love & Freedom” are included.

According to Producer Anthony Uro, the documentary “really gives viewers an in-depth look at the John Mellencamp most people don’t see, because it’s not only about John, the successful rock star, it also paints a very detailed picture of John’s early life and career before he was famous, and the people, places, and events that shaped him as a person and as an artist.”

While the special ends with Mellencamp’s extensively-covered intimate concert at the Crump Theater in Columbus, Indiana, Uro is most excited about Mellencamp’s commentary in “Homeward Bound,” Read More
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