07/02/2009 - 4 out of 5 stars
“Life Death Live and Freedom” is a riff on the title of John Mellencamp’s recently released studio CD, “Life Death Love and Freedom.” It’s a novel idea, releasing live and studio versions almost simultaneously. And it’s a good thing; these songs were meant to be performed live, they were written in the folk tradition, the troubadour tradition, in which a song traveled from one singer to the next, morphing along the way. Living, in other words. These literal soundboard recordings, with no studio overdubbing, have an immediacy that elevates them even beyond their original, already formidable quality. When Mellencamp sings about mortality in “If I Die Sudden,” “Don’t Need This Body” and “Longest Days,” you feel the physical and psychic aches. “Troubled Land” has a guitar bite that sharpens its political edge. And the closer, the gentle rocker, “My Sweet Love,” with Dane Clark’s retro-funk drumbeats keeping time, is, well, sweet. Mellencamp may be contemplating dying, but musically, he’s mor Read More
07/02/2009 - By ANDREW S. HUGHES - Tribune Staff Writer
It took less than an hour after The Tribune posted the announcement for the
concert July 4 at Coveleski Stadium for a reader to respond that the three
headliners are “has-beens.”
Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson and John Mellencamp are each many things, but unlike
most veteran acts, none of them deserves that sobriquet.
As an example, if chart success means anything, Dylan’s “Together Through Life”
debuted at No. 1 on Billboard’s charts after its release on April 28 of this
year, as did his 2006 album, “Modern Times.”
Beyond that, and artistically more important, each of them continues to release
new albums that add new layers of meaning and vitality to their careers and that
demonstrate an ongoing creative inquisitiveness that’s rare — Bruce Springsteen,
Paul McCartney and Neil Young all belong with them in this category, too — among
most veteran artists today.
Here, then, are reviews of the most recen Read More
06/30/2009 - NPR is repeating
John's March 2009 appearance on their "Fresh Air" show, Friday, July 3rd. The
approximately forty minute interview was conducted by "Fresh Air" Host Terry
Gross. John appeared via digital line from his Belmont Mall studio and performed
solo acoustic renditions of several classics, songs from his latest album "Life,
Death, Love and Freedom," and a few of his favorite songs from his youth.
The revealing "Fresh Air" interview is available for online listening via their WEBSITE and by clicking HERE you can locate your local radio station and airtime. Read More
06/30/2009 - F.Y.E is celebrating the release of John's new album Life Death LIVE and Freedom and his summer tour with Bob Dylan and Willie Nelson by giving away an autographed John Mellencamp guitar. Click HERE to visit their website to enter.
06/28/2009 - Kurt Markus, whose still work has put him in the front ranks of contemporary
American photographers is about to embark on a film project that will document a
journey he'll be taking this summer with John Mellencamp. Markus' extraordinary
vision and focus on the American West has earned him critical accolades over the
course of his 35 year long career in photography that has seen his work
published in Vanity Fair, GQ, Rolling Stone, Travel and Leisure, New York Times
Magazine, Outside, Esquire, Texas Monthly, Entertainment Weekly, Vogue and Best
Life as well as overseas outlets. He was recipient of Life Magazine's Alfred
Eisenstaedt Photography Award for his Rolling Stone "Sports Hall of Fame" shots
of triathelete Peter Kotland.
This summer he will accompany Mellencamp with a classic Super 8 camera,
capturing him on tour and as he records an album of new songs. Ian Markus, his
son, is his assisting cameraman and will film digitally and capture sound. The
expectat Read More
John's new LIVE
album Life Death LIVE and Freedom is now in stores! The album features live versions of
tracks from John's 2008 release Life Death Love and Freedom. LIVE features recordings from Mellencamp's 2008 tour. Click
HERE to read the liner notes from the album.
Life Death LIVE and Freedom track listing:
1. If I Die Sudden
2. Troubled Land
3. Don't Need This Body
4. Longest Days
5. Young Without Lovers
6. A Ride Back Home
8. My Sweet Love
This special low-priced offering from Concord / Hear Music is available at most retail and digital outlets! The CD version is available online at Read More
John Mellencamp - Life Death Live and Freedom - (Hear Music)
While John Mellencamp was thrilling and impressive during the studio version of the Life Death Love and Freedom CD, he’s taken things to even greater heights vocally and emotionally on these live versions of songs culled from concerts done during last year’s tours.
Whether it’s “Troubled Land,” “Jena,” “My Sweet Love,” or “Don’t Need This Body,” you hear Mellencamp singing without reserve or inhibition, at times powering through the melody and turning the lyrics into vibrant exhortations, then suddenly switching the mood and tempo back down before reviving things again.
Backed by a fine six-piece unit whose two guitars, keyboards, violin, bass and percussion created fierce, percolating backgrounds, Mellencamp provided audiences with an intensity and soul not obtainable in a sterile studio environment.
06/22/2009 - This week John's new album is featured on AOL.com's Listening Party and on MSN's Music Listening Booth. Click HERE to listen to the entire album on AOL and click HERE for the MSN Listening Booth!Post your thoughts about the album on the Mellencamp
MESSAGE BOARD. Read More
06/21/2009 - The video for "A Ride Back Home," the latest single from "Life, Death, Love and Freedom," is in rotation on GAC & CMT and is eligible for GAC's Top 20 Countdown and CMT's Top 20 Countdown - vote today! Click HERE for more ways to spread the word about the video. Read More
06/21/2009 - The fourth single from Life Death Love and Freedom is "If I Die Sudden." A special radio single has been released to Classic Rock and AAA radio formats that includes both the original album version along with the powerful live version contained on Life Death LIVE and Freedom.
Click HERE to find your local stations in those formats and request the song today! For tips how to make effective requests, click HERE. Calling your local stations and requesting new music by John is one of the best ways you can support his music! Always remember to call and thank the station when you hear them play John's music too. Read More
06/20/2009 - John's new video "A Ride Back Home" is featured as part of CMT's Video Replay series. The piece finds John and his duet partner Karen Fairchild talking about the song and video while it is played on screen. Click
HERE to watch the video on CMT.com or click the play button below.
06/18/2009 - With one win under our belt from last week's CMT Power Picks on June 8th (John’s video "A Ride Back Home" beat out Alan Jackson's video "Sissy's Song") we have another shot at winning another round!
Here's your chance to help support John and his new video "A Ride Back Home"! CMT Power Picks puts the hottest videos against each other, and your votes
decide which gets played and which goes away. This Monday, June 22nd at 11:00am ET it's John vs Reba McEntire. Contenders are announced online and on-air. As with last week’s win if John wins again this week he will be put up against another contender in the coming weeks.
06/17/2009 - The John Mellencamp-Kenny Chesney connection continues.
John and Kenny performed together on a September, 2003 episode of the "CMT
Crossroads" series, which pairs country artists with artists from other genres.
But the country superstar is now closing his current concert tour stops with
"Hurt's So Good."
John's smash hit from 1982 caps an encore set of five songs, also including The
Eagles' "Take It Easy" and Steve Miller's "The Joker."
But he's not the only country star covering "Hurts So Good." Hit newcomer
country group Lady Antebellum is also including it in their set. In fact,
they've actually performed the song on the same stage as Chesney during opening
sets on his tour.
"Young"-John Mellencamp And Kenny Chesney CMT Crossroads
06/11/2009 - Capt. Ken's Music Musings -
By Ken Capobianco
Finally, many found John Mellencamp’s last record, “Life Death Love and Freedom”
a bit too dark and murky (that was an instance when T-Bone Burnett’s production,
like his work with Sam Phillips, was too quirky for pop fans). It was a great
record about loss, mortality and the sad inevitability of aging and proved that
Mellencamp is one of the more honest and fearless rock writers. Everyone I know
said, “Too depressing, when’s the new Tom Petty coming out?”
Well, Mellencamp must have realized that some of his best songs got overlooked
so he put out an EP, “Life, Death, LIVE and Freedom,” (Hear Music) featuring
eight songs recorded live. And with this, you hear the songs from a different
point of view. Mellencamp’s voice is clear and his phrasing is different. The
vibe is not of fatigue and despair but of recognizing the song’s dark sentiments
and rising above them.
Essentially, that’s what performing live to a Read More