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10/28/2010 - Bloomington Herald Times writer Mike Leonard got a sneak peek at John's new tour, we have the full article after the jump. Here is an excerpt: The first set to what is going to be an extended tour of theater and auditorium shows was warm, bluesy and rootsy — an engaging mix of Mellencamp’s stripped down sound on the “No Better Than This” album and some rearranged versions of songs from the longtime Bloomington resident’s deep catalog of music.... Read More
08/16/2010 - Read Mike Leonard's of the Bloomington Herald Times full review of No Better Than This. Here are some excerpts: "John Mellencamp has said on many occasions that his aim is to be a simple troubadour, singing songs both timely and timeless to audiences wherever he can find them..."

"He’s never realized that ambition more than with “No Better Than This,” his 25th album..."

“No Better Than This” is in some ways a ground-breaking record. There doesn’t seem to be much precedent for this kind of Carter Family-meets-country-blues from a Southern Indiana starting point. And in other ways, the album feels as comfortable as an old quilt made up of swatches of grandma’s old gingham dresses and brightly colored blouses. It stirs up memories and emotions of working class lives lived and not idealized. .." Read More
06/14/2010 - By Mike Leonard

It’s a rare thing in the music world for an artist to release a four CD career retrospective that could be called ambitious.

All too often, retrospective means rehash.

But John Mellencamp worked assiduously to avoid that with “On the Rural Route 7609,” which is set for release Tuesday and covers territory from the beginning of his recording career in 1976 to the most recent tracks from 2009.

“I was really struck by how fresh all of this stuff sounded,” writer Anthony DeCurtis said in a phone interview last week. “I really do think it puts a new frame around what John has done over more than 30 years of making records.

“He’s found a voice over his last few records, and he’s gone back and I think traced that voice through all of his earlier work,” he went on. “So the stuff is familiar. It’s not like you hear it and say it doesn’t sound like him. But it really is a different angle and a different take on what his music has been and w Read More
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
 
   

 

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