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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 - Visit the Mellencamp store to see new items made for the summer tour! Take a peek below and visit the store for many other designs and items. Don't forget to take advantage of our current store specials featuring free shipping and discounted bundles! members should log in to the Club website and click the store link to view prices with their member discount!

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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").

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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, barefoot.

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 door.)

But these three singers were imperturbable, each committed to his particula Read More
07/23/2009 - Club Cherry Bomb, the Official John Mellencamp Fan Club, is offering presale tickets to Farm Aid 2009 for PAID Club members. Our presale began on Tuesday and ends this Friday. Great tickets are still available in all price levels, including the top-priced lower pavilion seats. Be sure to JOIN TODAY or visit the TOUR page to purchase tickets. Read More
07/23/2009 - Reviewed by Jeffrey B. Remz

Mellencamp is feeling real comfy in his roll as a thinking rock and roller. Just as he did last summer in coming to Boston, Mellencamp displayed a superb band with a lot of very good songs.

He started white hot from the opening Pink Houses, with its "Ain't That America" refrain. Mellencamp always has benefitted from his backing mates being of very high quality, and this aggregation was no different. The key players were lead guitarist Andrew York, accordionist/keyboardist Troye Kinnett. and fiddler Miriam Sturm.

Mellencamp kept the pace going with songs Paper & Fire, the soulful My Aeroplane and the slower, but catchy chestnut Check It Out.

Mellencamp has a bit of a raspy voice, but he put it to good use in a set that never flagged at all. He trotted out a new song, recorded last week in Savannah, Ga. at a First Baptist Church, Saved Some Time to Dream. The message seemed a bit simple with the tag lin Read More
07/23/2009 - By: Nancy Dunham  - Special to The Examiner

Think of The Bob Dylan Show as something akin to wizened musical gunslingers heading into town.

In the almost half-century that Dylan (age 68), and fellow headliners John Mellencamp (age 57) and Willie Nelson (age 76) have honed their musical chops, boy bands have come and gone -- and these three musical impresarios have faced them all down with aplomb.

"Dylan. I love Dylan. I've always been a huge fan," 19-year-old Taylor Butts of Fairhaven, Mass., told a critic for The Providence Journal. "I've read books on him. Watched movies on him."

Let others scream for Justin Timberlake and Lil' Wayne -- these three headliners with a median age of 67 are pulling in plenty of fans who weren't even alive during their heydays.

Don't believe it? Check out some of the fan boards where postings seem more in line with Jonas Brothers' mania than excitement over these more ma Read More
07/23/2009 - By Carrie White

The meaning of the phrase "party like a rock star" has evolved for members of the bands in Bob Dylan's 2009 Ballpark Tour, which brings Dylan, Willie Nelson and John Mellencamp to Norfolk's Harbor Park on Saturday.

"Our priorities have definitely changed," Mike Wanchic, longtime guitarist and bandleader for Mellencamp, said. "When we were young, touring was an adventure and fun - it was all new. But now, we put the music first. The music is our entire focus."

Mickey Raphael, who has been the harmonica player in Willie Nelson's band for the past 36 years, said, "It's definitely a life for a 21-year-old, so we have to pace ourselves!"

Nelson is 76, Dylan is 68 and Mellencamp is 57.

Wanchic, also 57, met Mellencamp in 1976 and joined his band two years later. He said his boss is fiercely competitive. "He's called 'The Little Bastard' because he won't compromise. He won't Read More
07/22/2009 - Jason Mraz, Wilco, Jamey Johnson and Phosphorescent to perform at Farm Aid 2009 Presented by Horizon Organic

ST. LOUIS—Farm Aid today announced an expanded lineup that crosses genres for its all-day music and food festival on Sunday, October 4 at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in Maryland Heights, Mo.

Jason Mraz, Wilco, Jamey Johnson and Phosphorescent will join Farm Aid board members Willie Nelson, Neil Young, John Mellencamp and Dave Matthews, who will perform with Tim Reynolds, at Farm Aid 2009 Presented by Horizon Organic.

“We’re looking forward to welcoming Jason Mraz and Phosphorescent to the Farm Aid family and having Wilco and Jamey Johnson back to Farm Aid this year,” said Carolyn Mugar, executive director of Farm Aid. “Every year, artists and bands donate their time to perform on the Farm Aid stage, raising funds and awareness about the critical contributions family farmers make to our country.”

The concert event will celebrate music Read More
07/22/2009 - By Jay N. Miller - For The Patriot Ledger

PAWTUCKET — Fingers were crossed when 9,298 fans arrived at Pawtucket’s McCoy Stadium for the Bob Dylan concert Tuesday night, after a day of heavy rains.

“It never rains at McCoy,” said a hopeful Michael Gwynn, Pawtucket Red Sox vice president for sales and marketing.

That was nearly correct: Only the final two songs of Dylan’s encore were punctuated by rain. Aside from a little mist during John Mellencamp’s set, the crowd was able to enjoy a long night of music with no need for the slickers, ponchos and duck boots that passed for stylish attire.

Mellencamp’s hourlong set was superb from start to finish, even if some of his newer material shifts the mood considerably. Mellencamp wasted no time, opening with a fiddle-charged “Pink Houses” and seguing into a seriously potent “Paper in Fire” where his vocals sounded perfect.

Miriam Sturm’s fiddle, transposed with the guitars and accordion in Mel Read More
07/20/2009 - Posted by Mark Bialczak/The Post-Standard

John Mellencamp wanted to know what time period the crowd wanted him to mine.

"Do you want an old song or a new song?" the roots rocker asked.

"Old" boomed back from the crowd.

Mellencamp bartered.

"How about I play part of an old song, then a new song, then an entire old song?" he wondered.

His show. The fans dug the partial old song, a solo version of "I Need a Lover" that showcased Mellencamp's sturdy rock voice and acoustic guitar, just as surely as they ate up the tight, electric band versions "Pink Houses" and "Paper in Fire" before it and "Rain on the Scarecrow," "Crumblin' Down" and "Jack 'N Diane" after it.

They loved turning their clocks back, back, back to those bygone, heard-it-on-the-radio days.

As it turned out, Mellencamp's still got something to say.

Th Read More
07/19/2009 - By Brent Hallenbeck, Free Press Staff Writer

ESSEX JUNCTION — It seems like just about every poetic, folky singer-songwriter is described as “Dylanesque” — the irony being, of course, that the one who really can’t be described as Dylanesque is Bob Dylan himself. His elusive reputation means that you never quite know which Dylan you’re getting in concert: acoustic or electric, wild or restrained, creatively sharp or practically incomprehensible.

The Bob Dylan who showed up with his band Friday at the Champlain Valley Exposition was electric, just this side of wild and mostly sharp. He concluded five hours of music before 10,000 or so fans who also heard from fellow legends John Mellencamp and Willie Nelson (combined age of the trio exceeding two centuries) and the up-and-coming Americana band The Wiyos, creating one of the most memorable nights of big-name musical fire power Vermont has ever heard.

The on-and-off drizzle Friday night was mostly on for Dylan’s s Read More
07/16/2009 -

Nelson, Neil Young, John Mellencamp and Dave Matthews to headline Oct. 4 all-star concert event

ST. LOUIS—Farm Aid, alongside farmers and food buyers at the Historic Soulard Farmer’s Market, announced today that it will bring its annual benefit concert to St. Louis, marking the first time that the organization will stage the event in Missouri.

“Farm Aid has deep roots in the Midwest that reach back to our first concert in Illinois in 1985,” said Farm Aid president Willie Nelson. “I’m looking forward to bringing my friends together on the Farm Aid stage to celebrate family farmers and the crucial work they do. Farmers do so much more than bring us the good food we all want to eat. America needs family farmers to revitalize our economy and make our country healthy.”

Farm Aid 2009 Presented by Horizon Org Read More
07/15/2009 - By John J. Moser

Over uneven shows and albums over the years, fans and critics have given Bob Dylan an awful lot of benefit of the doubt, and his Tuesday night show at a sold-out Coca-Cola Park in Allentown showed why. With a career that has meant so much to so many, even mediocre performances of his songs are meaningful, and he's still capable of -- if not great shows -- great moments in shows.

Willie Nelson showed much the same thing, but if the ballpark show had a designated hitter, it was John Mellencamp.

In a 95-minute concert, Dylan sang 15 songs in the grizzly growl of a blues master, sometimes adding inflections that made it seem as if he was imparting life lessons. In a cowboy hat, he leaned into the microphone, sometimes playful, sometimes forceful, sometimes crooning.

He mixed classics with new songs, opening with animated singing on ''Leopard Skin Pillbox Hat'' and ''Don't Think Twice, It's Alright,'' then offered ''Roll Read More
07/15/2009 - By John Moser

In a ballpark, it was appropriate that John Mellancamp hit a home run tonight.

With a six-piece band, he scorched the field, kicking out of the gate with a hard-rocking “Pink Houses,” warmed by accordion, and a dream-like and introspective “Paper in Fire” with violin.

He did a slow burn, alone on acoustic guitar for “Don’t Need This Body,” from his wonderful 2008 disc “Life Death Love and Freedom,” which he introduced as “a song for my generation,” and was joined by just violin and accordian for a wonderful “Small Town.” For that song he laughingly changed the lyrics to note that his wife, model Elaine Irwin – a Gilbertsville native -- was 13 when he wrote it.

The band returned then for a kicking, ominous “Rain on the Scarecrow.”

In all, he did three songs from “Life Death Love and Freedom” in a 12-song, hour-long set. A grooving “Troubled Land” rocked harder than on the disc, with a swirling organ. Also hard rocking was t Read More
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