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04/06/2010 - We haven't heard John's four-disc “On The Rural Route 7609” box set (to be released in time for Father’s Day)--at least not the way its 54 tracks have been compiled and sequenced. But we have had a sneak peek at Anthony DeCurtis's cut-by-cut liner notes--and now have a much better understanding of John's concept.

You'll recall how he's previously explained his focus on album material that he feels has been overlooked because of the huge pop hits that tended to dominate those albums--and his decision to arrange the songs as if they comprise four new and distinct albums, rather than in the chronological order of most box set career retrospectives. Well, it all makes more sense now that we've read the notes, in which John tells Grammy-winning Rolling Stone contributor DeCurtis about the varied origins of his songwriting.

For his part, DeCurtis offers thoughtful commentary. As he writes in reference to the first song "Longest Days"--which was inspired b Read More
04/05/2010 - For the second consecutive year, John has been nominated for a CMT Music Award--and again with Little Big Town's Karen Fairchild.

The video for "A Ride Back Home" from Life, Death, Love & Freedom is up for the Collaborative Video of the Year Award. The clip was shot last year at the nondenominational Beck Chapel on the Indiana University campus in Bloomington—where Mike Wanchic was married. A CMT camera crew was present at the shoot and interviewed both John and Karen for a “making of” piece that was shown on the country music video outlet as part of an extensive promotion coinciding with the premiere of the clip on the country video channel last May.

The award will be presented during the ninth annual CMT Music Awards show, to be broadcast live from Nashville's Bridgestone Arena on June 9th at 8 p.m. ET.

The "Ride Back Home" clip is up against “Best Days of Your Life” (starring Kellie Pickler and Taylor Swift), “Heaven” (Jason Read More
03/17/2010 - Tony, our keenly observant web master, recently pointed out how many country singers have covered John’s songs—either in concert or on record.

Sure enough, the list would include Toby Keith, Kenny Chesney, Keith Urban, Trisha Yearwood, and of course, Little Big Town, just to name a few.

And then there’s Travis Tritt, who in 2004 enlisted John to join in on “What Say You.” A bold expression of tolerance of opposing viewpoints--Tritt politically balancing lefty John on the right--the song was a country hit, and a perfect meeting of music styles, if not of the political minds.

“First, I'm a big fan of John's music,” Tritt told USA Today at the time. “I also respect his integrity, that he does things the way he thinks they should be done, which is the way I run my career. And I thought our voices would work well together.”

Younger country act Little Big Town, which has recorded and performed live with John, obviously feels the same. Toby Keith, the latest in the line Read More
03/16/2010 - SOMERVILLE, Mass. “Farm Aid 25: Growing Hope for America” is the theme of the quarter-century anniversary of Farm Aid, the nonprofit organization led by board members Willie Nelson, Neil Young, John Mellencamp and Dave Matthews. Farm Aid’s mission is to keep family farmers on the land and to create a family farm-centered food system in America.

Farm Aid representatives say planning for the 25th anniversary concert and the events leading up to it is in the works. Concert events will celebrate the contribution the organization has made to supporting family farmers and showcase the positive, sustainable future that family farmers are growing through their hard work every day. All across the country, family farmers are rebuilding local and regional food systems and re-energizing the economy.

“In 1985, we started out to save the family farmer. Now it looks like the family farmer is going to save us,” said Farm Aid president Willie Nelson. “As our nation continues to end Read More
03/08/2010 - On Tuesday, March 9th, the “Double Indemnity episode of the hit CBS TV series “NCIS” featured John’s “Someday The Rains My Fall.”

The tune was recorded in San Antonio during last year’s sessions for John’s forthcoming “No Better Than This” album. It was released last November on “NCIS: The Official TV Soundtrackl—Vol. 2.”

Previously, “Troubled Land,” one of the key tracks from “Life Death Love & Freedom,” appeared on the first “NCIS” volume. Read More
02/26/2010 - By Adam Sheets - Sometime in the next week as part of my job, I will be writing a newspaper review of the new Johnny Cash album. However, I will probably not post it here because it will probably not live up to the high standards of this site. To be honest, I'm not really looking forward to it.

"What?," you ask, "You're not looking forward to new Johnny Cash?!" Of course I am looking forward to the music itself; in fact, I can hardly wait until tomorrow for the release, but what I am not looking forward to is writing a review whose intended audience is people who did not know Johnny Cash ever existed until after he was dead.

That is why I am thankful for No Depression and the great work done by all of you here. You guys actually care about quality music and a good blog post or video on this site can brighten up a bad day. I'm hoping the following can maybe do the same for one of you.

Prior to my discovery of more “underground” America Read More
02/20/2010 - Last night’s 21st annual Pollstar Concert Industry Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. recognized last summer’s Bob Dylan/John Mellencamp/Willie Nelson tour as the Most Creative Tour Package.

The event is staged by the Pollstar trade publication, which covers the worldwide concert industry in a weekly print magazine and daily Web service. Read More
02/18/2010 - John's official Fan Club,, is partnering with Rock Fest to make available a limited number of one day VIP tickets only for PAID Club members. They will include a July 17th ticket in the reserved seating area right in front of the stage, along with complimentary lunch, dinner, drinks, VIP area and parking. This is a limited offer and only available here. Typically VIP tickets are only sold in a package for all four nights but Rock Fest and Club Cherry Bomb have come together for this exclusive offer for the PAID club member!

The one day VIP tickets will be $176.50 plus taxes and fees each and will be sold directly via phone by Rock Fest using a PAID Club member exclusive password. The presale will begin on Friday February 19th, please watch the Club TOUR page for details. Visit their Read More
02/18/2010 - John Mellencamp and his band will headline Rock Fest 2010 in Cadott WI on Saturday, July 17th. Rock Fest is four day music festival.

Rock Fest officials tell that attendee surveys over the past few years have had John at the top of the wish list for future fests. The venue is a naturally sloping amphitheater that can hold 25,000+ in the audience.

Tickets to the festival go on sale this Saturday, February 20th, at 8 AM CT. Please visit for ticket pricing, complete line up and camping information.
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02/15/2010 - By Mike Leonard - Commentary - There was a point before the musical program at the White House last week when John Mellencamp looked around the room and wondered, “What am I doing here?”

The singers and performers assembled were mostly African-American and rightly so. The program was put together in recognition of Black History Month and titled, “In Performance at the White House: A Celebration of Music from the Civil Rights Movement.”

Morgan Freeman, Smokey Robinson, Natalie Cole, Yolanda Adams, the Five Blind Boys from Alabama. That all made sense. All had either lived through the civil rights era of the late 1950s and ‘60s or lived it vicariously through family members and mentors.

Of the three white entertainers there, Bob Dylan clearly belonged. When he wrote “The Times They Are A-Changin’,” the civil rights movement was very much on his mind.

Joan Baez helped galvanize the aspirations of blacks and whites with her ethereal version of the spir Read More
02/12/2010 - A complete, unedited version of John's performance of "Born in the U.S.A." from December's Kennedy Center Honors segment celebrating the music of honoree Bruce Springsteen has surfaced.

The four-minute clip really stretches out the song, which opens slowly with John on acoustic guitar, Kenny Aronoff clapping tambourines, and Andy York inserting electric guitar licks before the houseband gradually joins in, maintaining a mostly acoustic simmer for the first two before John cuts it off for at the two-minute mark for 30 seconds of a cappella Vietnam reminiscence. He then kicks it off into the full-fledged rock anthem made famous in Springsteen's hit version.

“I was very proud and humbled to have been able to play ‘Born In The U.S.A.’ in a different fashion--that I think was true to the feelings that Bruce had when he wrote it,” Mellencamp told us shortly after the program was taped on Dec. 6. “As just some kid in New Jersey making records, I bet he never imagined in his wilde Read More
02/10/2010 - Accurate predictions of the second major snowstorm in a week caused the scheduled Feb. 10 taping of “In Performance at the White House: A Celebration of Music from the Civil Rights Movement” to be moved a day ahead. But John's performance of "Keep Your Eyes On The Prize," the hymn that became a major civil rights anthem and was recorded by the likes of Mahalia Jackson, Odetta and Pete Seeger, was commended by both The Washington Post and The New York Times.

John prefaced a simmering rendition of the classic--which featured his acoustic guitar part on his vintage 1932 Martin buttressed by Andy York's electric guitar play--with a brief personal remembrance.

"In 1966 I was 14 years old," he said, then asked the attendees in the East Room of The White House whether they had any children, and if so, if they'd let their own 14 year-old "get in a car with a bunch of 21 year-old guys and go to a bar and play when they were 14, or go to a college and pl Read More
02/09/2010 - John returns to Washington, D.C. along with notables like Bob Dylan and Smokey Robinson, for the 2010 White House Music Series which begins this Wednesday, February 10th.

Hosted by President and Mrs. Obama in the White House East Room, the “In Performance at the White House: A Celebration of Music from the Civil Rights Movement” concert event will celebrate Black History month. Other artists slated to perform include Dylan, Robinson, Natalie Cole, Jennifer Hudson, John Legend, Seal, the Blind Boys of Alabama and the Howard University Choir, with Morgan Freeman and Queen Latifah serving as emcees. Following opening remarks from the President, it will feature songs from the Civil Rights Movement as well as readings from famous Civil Rights speeches and writings.

John will sing “Keep Your Eyes On the Prize,” an anthem of the civil rights movement that has been recorded by the likes of Mahalia Jackson, Odetta, Pete Seeger, and Mavis Staples.
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02/04/2010 - Last week’s MusiCares Person of the Year gala honoring Neil Young in Los Angeles was a joyous occasion, says Andy York, who played guitar on John’s tribute performance of his Farm Aid co-founding partner’s classic “Down By the River.”

“Kenny Aronoff played a cocktail drumkit we brought in from Indianapolis, and Don Was played upright bass and T Bone Burnett played this beautiful electric vibe guitar,” says York. “We rehearsed the song a couple times during soundcheck and it really felt like a band from the first note. It was a blast playing together.”

John, he notes, “sang with the conviction that he’s famous for.”

He adds: “We tried to make the song more spooky even than Neil’s original—with tremelo guitars and the cocktail drums and the upright bass all supporting John’s vocal delivery.”

John was the first performer in an all-star lineup that also included Ozomatli, Jackson Browne, David Crosby, Stephen Stills, Graham Nash, Sheryl Crow, Elton J Read More
02/01/2010 - Read More
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