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
06/10/2009 - John has written the glowing forward to a forthcoming book about fellow
Midwestern rocker and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Bob Seger.
"Travelin' Man," which gets its title from Seger's 1969 breakthrough hit "Ramblin'
Gamblin' Man" (he was heading the Bob Seger System then), is a collaboration
with photographer Thomas Weschler and Detroit music writer Gary Graff. It
details Weschler's long involvement with the Seger organization.
John's forward relates how he was riding around Seymour with his buddies when "Ramblin'
Gamblin' Man" came on the car radio. The then 16 year-old was so taken by the
record's sound and the singer's voice that he had the driver pull onto the
shoulder of the road so they could hear it without static. Thus began John's
"long love affair" with Seger's music, which he describes as "thoughtful and
bad-ass, all in one measure."
Seger's fellow Detroiter Kid Rock, incidental Read More
06/04/2009 - The Sevierville, TN show has been canceled due to a
conflict in schedule. All tickets can be returned at
point of purchase. Simpsonville, SC show has been added to The Bob Dylan Show with John and Willie Nelson:
07.29.09 - Simpsonville, SC - Heritage Park
The presale for Simpsonville, which will feature reserved seating, will begin on Wednesday, June 10th. Public tickets for this show will go onsale on Friday, June 12th.
06/01/2009 - The last of the four one-hour “Farm Aid Presents…” specials culled from the Farm Aid 2008 live broadcast produced for DIRECTV began airing in April and continued over the last several months.
The high-definition, 5.1 Dolby Digital program is available via DIRECTV “The 101 Network” (Channel 101 on DIRECTV). "Farm Aid Presents...” will be repeated as listed below, it is a four part series.
Specials and their premiere months are:
#1 "Farm Aid Presents Pretenders & Friends" - February 2009 (featuring John's "Troubled Land")
#2 "Farm Aid Presents Jerry Lee Lewis & Friends" - April 2009 (featuring John's "Rain On The Scarecrow")
#3 "Farm Aid Presents Jakob Dylan & Friends" - May 2009 (featuring John's "If I Die Sudden")
# 4"Farm Aid Presents Nation Beat With Willie Nelson & Friends" - June 2009 ( featuring John's "Minutes To Memories")
06/01/2009 - The production of the "Ghost Brothers of Darkland County" CD/book package is slated to commence on June 15, when producer T Bone Burnett begins laying down the tracks in Los Angeles for the 18 new songs John has written for his musical theater collaboration with Stephen King. King's dialog will later be assembled in John's Belmont Studio.
The cast for the production is still not finalized but will definitely be star-studded. Projected release of the completed project is next January and will be in more than one configuration, with a "deluxe" version to include a book containing the show's full text and song lyrics, a CD featuring the show's dialog and songs, and a second CD with only the songs.
Meanwhile, more information on John's tentatively-titled forthcoming album "No Better Than This" has been made available. Recording will take place during the summer in Savannah, Georgia at the first African-American church in the U.S., as well as at the historic Read More
05/29/2009 - The upcoming 5th installment of the Guitar Hero video game series (due out September 1st) is going to include a well known John Mellencamp track. Stay tuned for details as the release approaches! Click HERE for more information about Guitar Hero 5. Read More
Volume 13, No.3
By Larry Jaffee
John Mellencamp is one of these artists who have always confounded me. On the
one hand, I admired the independence he exhibited early in his career, eschewing
the major label’s molded image more than 30 years ago of a teen idol for the MTV
video age; I like him for staying true to his small town Indiana roots.
On the other hand, even though he could display an artistic stride, such as on
“Pink Houses,” his earnestness became irritating, especially when his hit songs
like “Small Town” and “Our Country” started showing up in television commercials
or be the chosen campaign song for presidential candidates of both parties.
And I’m a dyed-in-the-wool liberal in agreement with his political leanings, not
the least being with his co-founding of Farm Aid. It’s easy to overlook that
this guy has rel Read More
05/19/2009 - As has been previously reported, John's forthcoming box set "On The Rural
Route 7609" will include versions of some of his classic songs other then the
well known ones in general release. At least two of them are particularly
innovative takes on the material and are freshly recorded by two iconic
individuals who are not generally associated with music recordings.
Dr. Cornel West recites the lyrics to "Jim Crow" which originated as a duet with
Joan Baez on 2007's "Freedom Road." The renowned author/lecturer proves an
inspired pairing with John's lyric that addresses the tenacity of racism in
West's 1993 bestseller "Race Matters" established him as one of America's most
eloquent voices on the racial divide. In the latest issue of Rolling Stone, he
is called "the pre-eminent intellectual of our generation," and in its recent
"RS 100: Agents of Change" listing, the magazine called him " Read More
05/19/2009 - Specially priced 8-song live collection also available as ‘Deluxe Tour Pack’
bundled with 2008’s original studio album
Life Death LIVE and Freedom, an 8-song live companion collection
featuring many of the key songs from John Mellencamp’s 2008 much-lauded Life
Death Love and Freedom, is set for release June 23. The specially-priced
offering from Hear Music will be available at all retail and digital outlets. In
recognition of Mellencamp’s upcoming tour with Bob Dylan and Willie Nelson, a
special “Deluxe Tour Pack” edition that includes both original studio
album Life Death Love and Freedom bundled with the new Life Death LIVE
and Freedom will also be available on June 23rd, wherever music is sold.
While the Life Death Love and Freedom studio album was in various stages
of production under the direction of T Bone Burnett, Mellencamp endeavored to
“road test” the album’s songs long before its release. Over the co Read More
05/18/2009 - Following his controversial commencement address yesterday at The University
of Notre Dame, President Obama stopped in Indianapolis for some political
fundraising at the Westin Hotel Downtown, where John spoke and performed three
songs before some 650 people.
"They were all politically based," John told Mellencamp.com Monday, "and I
talked about liberalism and what the word 'liberal' means and how it became a
cussword in the last eight years. The songs were essentially about liberty and
freedom, and I talked about abortion-because there were a lot of abortion
protesters outside. I said that if anyone asked for my advice about getting an
abortion-and I don't know why anybody would!--I'd advise them not to have one,
but that it's their decision and not the government's."
John also spoke about the effects of Reaganomics as a tie-in with his
performance of "Pink Houses."
"Reagan was president at the time of 'Pink Houses Read More
05/18/2009 - America's dairy farmers are rapidly disappearing, and Farm Aid needs your help to make sure they don't lose everything they've ever worked for. Sign Farm Aid's letter to Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack and urge him to take bold action to help save our dairy farmers. Please read the following letter from Farm Aid's President Willie Nelson:
With every passing day, the dairy crisis in the U.S. becomes more and more desperate. Dairy farmers across the country are losing their farms and their livelihoods.
If things don’t change -- and fast -- we may immediately lose up to 20,000 of our nation's dairy farmers. We cannot stand by and watch as family after family in every corner of the country loses their livelihood -– we have to work together to solve this crisis.
Take action now by contacting the one person who can bring immediate relief for dairy farmers: Send a message to Secretary of Agriculture Read More