09/01/2008 - Sights & Sounds|
By Mike Evans
THE GOOD: Recent Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame inductee John Mellencamp isn't growing older "quietly" on his latest effort.
THE BAD: Those looking for radio-friendly, life-affirming ditties and fist-pumping patriotism aren't going to find any of that here.
THE NITTY GRITTY: Life Death Love and Freedom is easily the heaviest record of the singer/songwriter's career. Heavy in that various tracks deal with growing older, becoming lonely and bitter, racial tensions, senseless crimes, and (as a piece of the title suggests) dying.
Musically, it's not heavy in the least bit. Produced by T-Bone Burnett, the disc is actually a pretty authentic study in modern folk and alt-country. Drums are sparse. Acoustic instruments are plentiful. And Burnett coats the tunes in echo and analog recording techniques, creating a vibe that's straight out of Memphis circa 1954.
Mellencamp's voice is raw and unyielding. Karen Fairchild joins the guy on a handful o Read More
09/01/2008 - INTERVIEW BY NANCY COULTER-PARKER|
In the early 1980s, Willie Nelson had the idea to start an organization that
would raise awareness about the plight of family farmers in jeopardy of losing
their farms due to financial hardship. A friend encouraged Nelson to contact
John Mellencamp, whose album Scarecrow — largely about the state of family
farming — had just been released. Nelson made the call, and the two forged a
partnership. Neil Young joined the duo to organize the first Farm Aid concert in
1985. Dave Matthews joined the board of directors in 2001. In its 23 years, the
nonprofit Farm Aid has raised more than $30 million — money that has been used
to support family farmers and, more recently, as emergency relief funds for
families whose farms were hit by the floods in Iowa last June. Recently,
Delicious Living caught up with John Mellencamp, on tour for his new album Life
Death Love and Freedom, to talk about his involvement with Farm Aid.
Delicious Living: Ho Read More
John & Elaine Mellencamp with Michelle & Barack Obama
4-22-08 Campaign Rally, Roberts Stadium, Evansville, IN
Photo By Brian Bruner for Mellencamp.com
“Pink Houses” proved the perfect entrance song when Sen. Joe Biden came out to accept the Democratic Party’s vice presidential nomination Wednesday night. But it was only the latest instance of a John Mellencamp song being used for campaign purposes.
08/29/2008 - Music can offer answers along life's twisted path|
By Tom Hernandez
August 29, 2008
I was talking to John Mellencamp the other day ....
OK, well, not actually talking to him. Actually he was more talking to me.
OK, well, not actually talking to me. Actually he was more talking about me - or
at least about my life - through several songs on his magnificent new CD, "Life,
Death, Love and Freedom."
Mellencamp and I have had these kinds of conversations for more than two
decades. I heard personal messages in his Midwestern rock back when he was still
(unfortunately and amusingly) named Cougar.
Then, the songs were about young life, young love, rebellion and the power of
rock 'n' roll. The world of the 20-something from Indiana making music for a
world of fans that looked and lived and thought like him.
As he aged, I aged. As he learned about the harder edges of real life, I learned
about the harder edges of real life. As Read More
08/28/2008 - Mellencamp Talks Truth From The Heart on New Disc |
3.5 out of 4 Stars
Written by MATTHEW LAMBERT - Wednesday, 27 August 2008
With John Mellencamp’s latest release, Life Death Love and Freedom, we are
introduced to yet another album reflecting the current state of our country as
well as topics dealing with mortality, war, love and freedom. Mellencamp has
taken a turn from the pop-like Freedom’s Road (2007) and created an album that
often feels gloomy and bleak. The album is dominated by a folk-like sound,
Mellencamp’s vocals and the strum of the guitar stand out amongst most of the
tracks. Producer T. Bone Burnett provides instrumentation throughout the album,
along with Andy York (guitars) Miriam Sturm (fiddle) Troye Kennett (keyboards)
Dane Clark (drums) and John Gurnell (bass).
On the opener Longest Days, Mellencamp stars with rather ominous lyrics. “It
seems like once upon a time ago/I was where I was supposed to be/My vision was
true and my heart Read More
08/25/2008 - Farm Aid today announced that
its Sept. 20 New England music festival will be broadcast live on DIRECTV's The
101 Network, which reaches more than 17 million viewers. This broadcast will
mark the first time that Farm Aid's annual benefit concert airs live in HD. |
The show will broadcast from Farm Aid 2008 Presented by Whole Foods Market and
Horizon Organic at the Comcast Center near Boston. The show will feature
performances by Farm Aid president and founder Willie Nelson; board members Neil
Young, John Mellencamp and Dave Matthews; as well as Kenny Chesney. Coverage on
The 101 Network will begin at 4 p.m. and end at 11 p.m.
Farm Aid also announced that The Pretenders, moe., Arlo Guthrie, Jerry Lee
Lewis, Nation Beat, Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, Jakob Dylan and The Gold
Mountain Rebels, Danielle Evin, Jamey Johnson, Jesse Lenat, Will Dailey and One
Flew South will join previously announced performers Nelson, Young, Mellencamp,
Matthews and Chesney.
"T Read More
08/22/2008 - "My Sweet Love" is in video rotation on VH1, CMT and GAC and is eligible for the top video countdown on all of these networks. If you can take a minute every day and show your support of this great Mellencamp song, by simply casting your vote, you can help it climb the charts. Click for links. Read More
08/21/2008 - A multipage interview with John Mellencamp is included in the new issue of Rolling Stone magazine on store shelves now. The piece, titled "John Mellencamp's New Blues," is in issue #1059 dated August 21, 2008 by Brian Hiatt featuring Robert Downey Jr. on the cover. In the piece, John discusses his new record, touring, family life, politics and living in Indiana. |
The coughing fit doesn't last long, but it's ferocious: Four sharp hacks, and
then John Mellencamp can speak again. "Fuckin' cigarettes," he says, catching
his breath. Mellencamp is sitting on a brown leather couch in the rural Indiana
studio where he's recorded all of his music since 1985 — including a haunting
new album called Life, Death, Love and Freedom that leans hard on the death
part. It's disquieting stuff, especially from a guy who suffered a heart attack
in 1994 and kept right on smoking. On the ghostly folk song "Don't Need This
Body," Mellencamp sings of impending mortality in such stark terms (" Read More
08/17/2008 - Nature & Recreation - Aiding the American Farmer|
Farm Aid, the annual concert founded and organized by the recording industry’s
top names, helps America’s struggling farm families stay on the land.
By Carol Ekarius
A native son of the Midwest, John Mellencamp was a young man in his early 30s in
the summer of 1985, and his album, Scarecrow, was burning up the charts. Its
title song, “Rain on the Scarecrow,” was a searing commentary on what he saw
happening to farms around his home in Bloomington, Indiana.
This land fed a nation, this land made me proud
And son I’m just sorry, there’s no legacy for you now
Rain on the scarecrow, blood on the plow
Rain on the scarecrow, blood on the plow
As John says, “It isn’t like you had to go looking for a cow, or looking for a
cornstalk, they were everywhere. They were right outside the door.” Growing up
and as a young man, he knew the people who owned those cows and those
cornstalks. They were s Read More
08/11/2008 - By now, John Mellencamp is used to hearing his songs on the Election 2008
soundtrack. McCain, Clinton and Edwards all used his patriotic "Our Country"—the
one on the Chevy pickup ads—as whistle-stop walk-on music during the primaries.
Clinton, Edwards and Obama also went for the iconic Mellencamp ditty "Small
Town." Mike Huckabee tried to sell "R.O.C.K. in the U.S.A." while McCain picked
"Pink Houses"—until he heard that Mellencamp is an ardent Democrat. Still,
Mellencamp was surprised one day this June when he was watching Clinton on TV as
she delivered her campaign farewell speech, which ended with a rocking number
called "Thank You." "I thought, 'That's a pretty cool song.' Then I realized it
was my song," Mellencamp says. "I called up one of the guys in my band, and I
said, 'Did you hear that?' I put it on an album, never played it live and forgot
Mellencamp loved the shout-out—and he's added "Thank You" to his concert
set-list. But other Read More
08/08/2008 - Mellencamp.com is posting fan concert reviews of John’s current tour.
Send your review(s)/blogs to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line of Fan Show Review. |
July 25 Ford Center - Oklahoma City, OK
The OKC show was great, as was my front row VIP fan club seat! One of my favorites from LDL&F is "If I Die Sudden", and it sounds especially good LIVE! It was great to see Speck join the band for the encore again too. - Jean H.
July 30 Santa Barbara Bowl
- Santa Barbara, CA Barbara County Bowl John Mellencamp rocked the house!! It was the best I have ever seen him!! He was enjoying the crowd, which was of course enjoying him. He played a great mix of old and new, Longest Days, Minutes to Memories and Jack and Diane, to name a few. The crowd willingly and loudly sang chorus for him with R.O.C.K in the U.S.A. - Barry McG.
July 31 Greek Theatre - Los Angeles, CA