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10/17/2009 - John has been nominated for induction into the prestigious Songwriters Hall of Fame.

For the second year in a row he’s been named in the Performing songwriter category, this time along with Bono (Paul Hewson)/The Edge (David Evans)/Adam Clayton/Larry Mullen (U2), Garth Brooks, Leonard Cohen, Elvis Costello, Dion DiMucci, David Gates (Bread), Yusuf Islam (formerly Cat Stevens), Tommy James, Lou Reed, Leon Russell, and Maurice White/Philip Bailey/Verdine White/Larry Dunn/Al McKay (Earth, Wind and Fire).

Ballots are now being sent to SongHall voting members. They are due back by Dec. 11, with the results to be announced next year.

Incidentally, there is a Non-Performing songwriter category as well. Those nominees are Tommy Boyce & Bobby Hart, Jackie DeShannon, Luther Dixon, David Foster, Mark James, Robert John “Mutt” Lange, Johnny Mandel, Jerry Ragovy & Bert Berns, Harvey Schmidt & Tom Jones, Billy Sherrill, Joe South, and Paul Vance & Lee P Read More
10/16/2009 - Rolling Stone didn’t provide much coverage of Farm Aid other than a great photo of John and his guitar-slinging son Speck on stage.

John had brought Speck out to jam on his set’s closing “Authority Song,” which ended with a huge sing-along and a deafening crowd roar. John joked afterwards that the now 6 foot tall 14 year old Speck was trying out for the band.

The pic is in the current issue of Stone—dated Oct. 29 and with Madonna on the cover. It's also in the best position on the photo page--top left.
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10/15/2009 - The second volume of a specially produced soundtrack for the hit CBS TV series “NCIS” will feature another cut from John.

“NCIS: The Official TV Soundtrack – Vol. 2,” which CBS Records releases on Nov. 3, includes John’s “Someday The Rains Will Fall.” Like all of the other tracks (except legendary musical satirist Tom Lehrer’s “The Elements”), it is a new and previously unreleased recording.

As with the first “NCIS: The Official TV Soundtrack,” which came out in February, John is in good company. Recent tour mate Bob Dylan is also present this time around, with Norah Jones, Sheryl Crow and Joss Stone participating this time as well.

“Someday The Rains Will Fall” was recorded in San Antonio during the sessions for John’s forthcoming “No Better Than This.” It joins “Troubled Land,” one of the key tracks from “Life Death Love & Freedom,” which appeared on the first “NCIS” volume.

Now in its seventh season, action drama “NCIS,” which centers on the Read More
10/08/2009 - Written by Amy Burger - Verizon Wireless Amphitheater, St. Louis

The weather gods were smiling on St. Louis Sunday for the Farm Aid benefit concert, held for the first time in its nearly 25 year history in Missouri at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater. The dark clouds and harsh winds of Saturday blew through giving way to bright sun, mild fall temps and crystal clear blue skies - the perfect backdrop for a day of music in the heartland.

The fact that Farm Aid has never been held in Missouri is surprising, considering the vast number of family farms throughout the region. Many of these family farmers were in attendance, enjoying the sounds, selling organic foods and educating concert attendees about their cause in the "Homegrown Village." The regular fare in the amphitheater's concessions was replaced with organic alternatives (free range chicken tenders) and bright red shirts emblazoned with "Stop Factory Farms" dotted the landscape.

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10/05/2009 - 10/5/09, 10:27 am EST

Farm Aid 2009 hit St. Louis’ Verizon Wireless Ampitheatre yesterday with Dave Matthews, John Mellencamp, Neil Young and Willie Nelson leading a pack of performers that also included Wilco, Jason Mraz and late addition Gretchen Wilson. Local farmers and families packed the venue’s lawn eating locally produced meats and produce and donning shirts that read “Stop Factory Farms” and “Farmers Kick Ass.” The show marks the first Farm Aid for Missouri, and the ninth consecutive year Matthews, Mellencamp, Young, and Nelson, all Farm Aid board members, have headlined the annual concert. Since its inception in 1986, Farm Aid has raised more than $35 million to help support America’s family farmers.

Wilco took the stage at dusk and brought the crowd to its feet with a six-song set that included “Impossible Germany” and “Heavy Metal Drummer” — a song about hanging out in St. Louis’ Laclede’s Landing — and “Casino Queen,” an ode to a local riverboat casino.

Dave Matth Read More
10/05/2009 - By: Kevin C. Johnson

Farm Aid finally planted its deep seeds in St. Louis for the first time Sunday, when the big benefit event unfolded all day at a sold-out Verizon Wireless Amphitheater.

It was a long day of messages – just say “no” to factory farming and “yes” to family farming. The point couldn’t be stressed enough it seemed, whether via the interactive Homegrown Village area, the concessions, the PA system on the concourse, and the performers from the stage.

“We want our farms back,” Young said at the top of his set. Later, he said “I hope you’re enjoying Farm Aid. We’d enjoy it more if you’d give us some money.”

But it was the music, not the messages necessarily, that packed the joint, the wall-to-wall rock and country music. And Farm Aid overflowed with it, culminating in headliners Willie Nelson, Neil Young, Dave Matthews, and John Mellencamp, all Farm Aid board members.

Long before getting to those performances, or sets by the likes of Wilco, Gr Read More
10/05/2009 - By Annie Zaleski in Farm Aid, Show ReviewsMon., Oct. 5 2009 @ 1:34PM

John Mellencamp and his crack band may have stolen the show at Farm Aid. The Seymour, Indiana, native opened his nine-song set with slower versions of "Pink Houses" and "Paper in Fire." The youthful intensity Mellencamp exuded when he called himself Johnny Cougar has smoldered into a slower-burning passion, as exemplified in the latter song during the chorus. Multiple members of his band lined up near the front of the stage like a marching-band squad, their voices swelling in a riotous call to arms.

That a communal spirit permeated Mellencamp's songs should be no surprise: Guitarist Mike Wanchic has been a Coug collaborator for thirty-plus years and guitarist Andy York is also a long-term band member. Their versatility was more impressive, however. Mellencamp's nicotine-stained voice cut through "If I Die Sudden," which had a shuffling, Texas honky-tonk feel, while "Troubled La Read More
10/05/2009 - John and his band warmed up a sold-out crowd yesterday with their Farm Aid 2009 set at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in Maryland Heights, Mo., just outside of St. Louis.

It was a chilly, early Fall evening when they hit the stage around 7:40 Central. But the full moon shone brightly on the pumped-up Farm Aid fans when John lit into “Pink Houses” following an introduction from John’s fellow Farm Aid board member Dave Matthews, whose set with Tim Reynolds preceded John’s. Dave's short but heartfelt introduction included "he has always spoken out for the working man, and I think he is awesome, and I am a big fan of his music." A powerful version of “Paper In Fire” followed, then “Check It Out.”

After thanking his fellow Farm Aid board members (Matthews, Neil Young and Willie Nelson) for their efforts, John did an acoustic solo turn on “Save Some Time to Dream,” the new song from John’s forthcoming album “No Better Than This,” which he performed during the summer tour with Nel Read More
10/04/2009 - Artists, farmers at Farm Aid 2009 Presented by Horizon Organic call for sweeping policy change to support family farm innovation

Maryland Heights, Mo. — Farm Aid praised family farmers for their ingenuity and perseverance at its sold-out benefit concert held today at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in Maryland Heights, Mo., just outside of St. Louis.

Farm Aid board members Willie Nelson, Neil Young, John Mellencamp and Dave Matthews, joined by artists performing at Farm Aid 2009 Presented by Horizon Organic, held up the innovation and commitment of family farmers in a call for food and agriculture policies that support their efforts to realize a new vision for agriculture.

“Family farmers are the first rung of the economic ladder in this country,” said Nelson, president and founder of Farm Aid. “Against all odds, they have persevered and found ways to stay on their land, growing good food for all of us and creating strong communities. It’s time now for Read More
10/04/2009 -

Thanks to everyone who participated in this year's Club Cherry Bomb’s Farm Aid Charity Auction! Fan club manager TonyB and auction coordinator SharonC presented John with a $2100.00 check. John was once again highly impressed from the support of his fan club. " You guys are great, thanks for doing this every year"

Between bidding on the items donated by Mellenheads and donations by those who didn't win, $2,100 was donated to Farm Aid at this weekend's concert! Payments and donations are still coming in and we will forward those to the Farm Aid Office in Massachusetts.

Thanks to everyone who made our 5th Annual auction such a huge success - be proud of the work your donations will help Farm Aid do! Special thanks to all of the great Mellenheads who donated items out of their personal collections! Read More
09/29/2009 - Watch the homepage or John's Twitter page to get regular updates from the Farm Aid press conference, backstage happenings, concert highlights and most of all the song-to-song set list as it happens LIVE from the show!

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09/29/2009 - Farm Aid 2009, to be held Oct. 4 at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in Maryland Heights (near St. Louis), Missouri, promises to be another memorable event.

The lineup, in addition to John and fellow Board Members Willie Nelson, Neil Young and Dave Matthews (with Tim Reynolds), includes: Wilco, Jason Mraz, Jamey Johnson, Gretchen Wilson, Phosphorescent, Billy Joe Shaver, Will Dailey & the Rivals, Ernie Isley & the Jam Band, Ryan Bingham & the Dead Horses, The Blackwood Quartet, Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real, and Titty Bingo.

DIRECTV will be broadcasting the concert on The 101 Network. Just like last year, it’ll be broadcast live in HD with surround sound, beginning at 5 PM EDT and run for six hours. If you don't have DIRECTV you can catch the free webcast at Farmaid.or Read More
09/22/2009 - I’ve never been a fan of “live” albums and I know I’m not the only one. Difficult to articulate why though – I don’t think I’m so rigid that I need to hear the same song the same way with no variation every time so it’s not that and certainly, I love the whole concert experience thing even if I wasn’t actually present when they recorded. So why the aversion? Maybe it’s because the choice of songs is often less than inspiring (don’t even get me started on David Bowie’s Stage album) or the fact that some artists’ disappoint when removed from the sterility of a studio setting. It’s neither a secret nor a disrespect to note that some vocalists very clearly benefit from a bit of the – shall we say – auditory makeover that happens behind the scenes. And of course all that is fine, assumed even. But just to be clear John Mellencamp does not need help. Both his voice and his latest live offering Life Death Live and Freedom which was recorded with “no overdubs or studio enhancements of any kind Read More
09/21/2009 - In light of the much-deserved praise that has greeted Loudon Wainwright III’s new “High Wide & Lonesome—The Charlie Poole Project”—and having just seen him perform it at a one-off show in New York—I want to remind everyone that John has his own connection to the legendary Poole via “To Washington.”

Eight years of peace and prosperity
Scandal in the White House
An election is what we need
From coast-to-coast to Washington

So began the song, from John’s 2003 album “Trouble No More.” It was about the disastrous 2000 election that brought George W. Bush to the White House.

So a new man in the White House
With a familiar name
Said he had some fresh ideas
But it's worse now since he came
From Texas to Washington

As I noted in “John Mellencamp: The Concert at Walter Reed,” the song was based on Woody Guthrie’s “Baltimore to Washington," which was about a roving, down-on-his-luck-gambler. But Guthrie had pat Read More
09/18/2009 - The 5th installment of the Guitar Hero video game series includes John's "Hurts So Good" from his 1982 pop chart smash "American Fool". "Guitar Hero 5" also contains tracks 84 songs by 83 artists including the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, David Bowie, Nirvana, Kiss, the White Stripes, Coldplay, Kings of Leon, Beck and Wolfmother.

This marks the first usage of John's songs in a video game.

"Guitar Hero 5" is available for play on PlayStation 3, Xbox360, Wii and PlayStation 2 video game consoles. It is sold both as game only or game bundled with a guitar controller.

The game offers various "play modes" for up to four actual players, who can play with guitars, drums, microphone or any combination of instruments. A new "RockFest" mode allows four players locally-or up to eight players online-to test their skills in games like "Momentum," "Do-or-Die," "Perfectionist," "Elimination" and "Streakers." Read More
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