08/08/2009 - It’s nothing new for John to give fans up front a shot at singing a
verse of “Hurts So Good,” but at his stop at Corpus Christi’s Whataburger Field
on Wednesday with The Bob Dylan Show, he gave one Texan fan the whole song.|
He had revealed after the first few songs that he was “sick as a MF-er,” and
while he and the band sounded as good as ever, one reporter observed that he did
seem “a little more gruff than usual.” But he refused to cancel his part of the
show, and after he told everyone that he had determined “I can’t do that to
those people,” they were solidly behind him the rest of the way.
When it came time for the closer, he relied on Michael Carranco, a 37-year-old
custodian, who was right at the front of the stage in a vintage Mellencamp
“American Poet” t-shirt, who was noticeably singing along with every song. He
picked the anxious fan after declaring that he needed some help from the crowd,
and then sang backup for him for the song.
Interviewed l Read More
08/06/2009 - Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp and Bob Dylan play Whataburger Field -
By Rob Boscamp|
Susan Gause wasn’t surprised by the star power accompanying Bob Dylan Wednesday night at Whataburger Field.
She thinks his concert with Willie Nelson and John Mellencamp is an idea that has been 20 years in the making, and has the papers to prove her point.
Gause of Houston brought an interview with Dylan from the L.A. Times to Wednesday’s show hoping she could somehow get it autographed.
In the story Dylan mentions he’d like to record with Willie.
The publication date: Aug. 5, 1984, 25 years to the day of Wednesday’s show.
“I just realized that two nights ago,” she said.
She also brought a 1987 Rolling Stone interview in which Dylan was quoted saying: “... John Cougar Mellencamp, he’ll be around longer than anybody will be.”
The chance to see these three music icons together had the crowd lined up early, even on a day when the Read More
08/03/2009 - By William Kerns | A-J ENTERTAINMENT EDITOR |
Never let it be said that a person cannot juggle sports and the arts, especially
during one's younger years.
Mike Wanchic is one of the great examples.
After all, Wanchic is known primarily as a good friend, career adviser, recent
co-producer and, most important, lead guitarist for John Mellencamp for more
than 30 years.
He also stays in shape during the current Dylan-Mellencamp-Nelson tour with a
rigorous biking program each morning, mapping routes to ride with Mickey
Raphael, Willie Nelson's harmonica player.
Bob Dylan, Mellencamp, Nelson and the Wiyos will perform in concert Saturday at
Jones AT&T Stadium in Lubbock.
Wanchic also played college football for his college team at DePauw University.
He explained during a recent telephone interview that his interests were split
50-50 between sports and the arts while growing up.
"My mom was deeply supportive of Read More
08/03/2009 - By Jelisa Castrodale|
The July sun was at its most brutal as the crowd started filing into the Durham Bulls Athletic Park on Tuesday afternoon, quickly staking out standing room in the outfield grass and spreading their blankets in the base paths.
The baseball field took a break from hosting Triple-A teams like the Buffalo Bisons or Toledo Mudhens to welcome a more formidable lineup of Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp and Bob Dylan. The trio has been playing one-night only gigs in minor league ballparks since early July, each with a family friendly 5:30 start time. From the ballfield settings to Nelson’s red, white and blue guitar strap to Mellencamp’s familiar “Oh, but ain’t that America” refrain, these events couldn’t be more overtly patriotic without involving apple pies and handguns.
John Mellencamp was up next and proved to be the heart of the order, both
because of his spot in the middle of the lineup and because of the amount of
energy he packed into his hour-long perfo Read More
08/03/2009 - John, guitarist Andy York, and Life Death Love and Freedom producer T-Bone Burnett recorded last week at Memphis' legendary Sun Studios. “I stood on the X where Elvis stood [to record],” Mellencamp said with a grin the next day during a show in Durham, NC as quoted by writer Jelisa Castrodale. He continued before playing the new cut "Save Some Time to Dream" saying, “It was the most fun I’ve ever had making a record.”|
08/03/2009 - By Mojo Flucke |
Sometimes it’s hard to reach into the dark, dank, spiderweb-glazed swamp of memory and grab something from 20 years ago, but this much I remember: In the 1970s through the early 1990s a few select artists like Springsteen, Michael Jackson, Def Leppard, Madonna, Metallica, and yes, Journey, could inspire such rabid devotion in rock fans that they’d flock to stores holding special midnight openings to sell a new record the first minute it was allowed.
Today, the music-biz is so fragmented, rock radio is so weakened, and leaked MP3s/digital streams make the concept of a “formal record release” a notion antiquated as the corset — or at least Valley Girl talk. People buy CDs not for the tactile experience but as a backup hardcopy. Hard to imagine staying up for a midnight record-release party for that.
While Popdose commenters might have their own recollections of when this particular Event-with-a-capital-E stuff died, my official day is March 31, 1992, the day Bruc Read More
08/02/2009 - By Joseph Taylor|
Musical Performance-4 out of 5 Stars
Sound Quality-4 out of 5 Stars
Overall Enjoyment-4 out of 5 Stars
John Mellencamp's Life Death Love and Freedom was a career-defining record
from a songwriter and singer whose shrewd commercial instincts seem to have kept
him from having the hip "Americana" tag hung on him. But with producer T. Bone
Burnett's help, Life Death Love and Freedom brought Mellencamp's talents into
their greatest focus since 1993's Human Wheels, and the result was a triumph.
Best of all, the disc, which was full of warmth and atmosphere, sounded
terrific. If the drums on "My Sweet Love" were mixed a little forward, it was a
conscious effort to create the right feel for the song, and it worked.
While Burnett helped frame Mellencamp's songs, it was the songs themselves that
showed the singer's renewed purpose and talent. By the time the album was
released in 2008, Mellencamp had alre Read More
08/02/2009 - By Jim Bessman - Sex and drugs and rock ‘n’ roll? What about cycling?|
Key players in the Mellencamp and Nelson factions of this summer’s The Bob Dylan
Show with John Mellencamp and Willie Nelson concert tour of minor league
baseball stadiums have formed a bicycle club as a healthy alternative to the
traditional—if less healthy—means of offstage on the road entertainment.
“It’s my new drug,” says Mickey Raphael, Nelson’s longtime harmonica
accompanist. “It’s a lot better than getting loaded on the road--which is what
used to be protocol years ago.”
Raphael has formed an as yet unnamed riding club with tour mates Andy York and
Mike Wanchic—both longtime guitarists for Mellencamp.
“We like to go out together on our days off,” Raphael says. “We just check the
Internet for good places to ride or call the local bike shop because they know
of places and sometimes have planned rides. It’s great exercise and a good way
to explore the towns we go to.”
< Read More
08/01/2009 - By Lawrence Specker|
"The Bob Dylan Show," a tour that visited The Wharf in Orange Beach on Friday
night, featured a lot of music from a lot of big-name artists. But it can be
broken down neatly to things that did happen and things that didn't.
The biggest thing that didn't happen: On a stormy day when fans drove through
occasionally heavy rains on their way to the open-air venue, the whole affair
didn't get washed out.
John Mellencamp, who played between Willie Nelson and headliner Dylan, indicated
that he'd been as worried as anybody. "I looked out my window today," he told
the crowd, "and I said, 'Please, God, don't let it rain.' And he didn't."
Mellencamp followed that with a self-deprecating note, conceding that the
almighty probably had much higher priorities than parting the clouds for this
show. But part they did, as if on cue. And if the audience could see distant
flickers of lightning behind the stage th Read More
07/31/2009 - John Mellencamp isn’t wasting any time on his current tour with Bob Dylan.|
During off days, he’s busy recording No Better Than This, his studio album
follow-up to his acclaimed album from last year Life Death Love And Freedom (a
condensed live version, Life Death Live And Freedom, came out a month ago).
But Mellencamp is using a different kind of studio to record No Better Than
This, in keeping with his stated intention of making a different kind of album.
In fact, the veteran singer-songwriter has called it “a complete change of
style—and voice,” since he is recording his new songs in the style of classic
folk blues records from the 1930s and ‘40s.
With that in mind, Mellencamp has already recorded at the First African Baptist
Church in Savannah, Georgia (the oldest African-American church in North
America), as well as the legendary Sun Studios in Memphis. Other historic
buildings in the South will be used for future sessions, including the Gunter
Hotel in Read More
07/29/2009 - "Pete Seeger's 90th Birthday Celebration from Madison Square Garden" is set to premiere in high-definition on New York PBS channel Thirteen's "Great Performances" series on Thursday, July 30 at 8 PM ET. The program will air throughout the country on local PBS stations beginning in early August - check your local listings airdate in your area, or visit Great Performances Online for additional information.|
Condensed to two and a-half hours, the Seeger celebration presents highlights from the extraordinary May 3 event at New York's historic arena, where a multi-generational roster of artists, whose music has been shaped by Seeger's vision, gathered to commemorate his 90th birthday. Over 40 artists representing all genres of folk music participated, and besides John included Bruce Springsteen, Arlo Guthrie, Joan Baez, Kris Kristofferson, Richie Havens, Roger McGuinn, Ani DiFranco, Taj Mahal, Ben Harper and D Read More
07/27/2009 - By Mike Holtzclaw |
Mellencamp, the relative youngster of the gang at 57, performed a good
selection of his trademark populist anthems, backed at times by his six-piece
band and playing solo on some tunes, even going a cappella on the nostalgic
"Cherry Bomb." Keeping with the tone of the evening, fiddler Miriam Sturm at one
point filled in between songs with a quick run through "Home on the Range."
In addition to hits like "Pink Houses" and "Small Town," Mellencamp introduced a
brand-new tune, "Save Some Time to Dream," which covered some of the same ground
as Dylan's "Forever Young" but directed more at an adult than at a child. As
though to prove he still has some kid in him, Mellencamp closed his set with a
raucous rendition of his petulantly defiant "Authority Song" (vowing that "I
still feel the same way today as I did when I wrote this").
Click Read More
07/26/2009 - By Jon Caramanica|
LAKEWOOD, N.J. — On paper, the biggest decision the several thousand people
milling about FirstEnergy Park here on Thursday evening had to make was whom to
cheer loudest for: Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp or the headliner of this
unusually packed concert bill, Bob Dylan. But there were far more pressing
choices to be made. Jacket, poncho or trash bag. Out in the open near the stage
or huddled under awnings far away. Close-toed, open-toed or, riskiest of all,
The rain arrived here in a hard spittle long before Mr. Nelson, who opened the
show, took the stage, which was erected in deep center field and the only truly
dry surface in this stadium, normally home to Lakewood’s minor league baseball
team, the BlueClaws. (This was probably the most profitable day of the summer at
the souvenir shop, what with all the ponchos and seat covers flying out the
But these three singers were imperturbable, each committed to his particula Read More