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07/02/2010 - In The Studio Profiles On The Rural Route 7609 Nationally syndicated radio show In The Studio with host Redbeard featured John's box set On The Rural Route 7609 on a recent episode. The hour long episode included several box set tracks packaged with excerpts from Redbeard's numerous interviews with John over the years. These classic interview clips find John talking about his career and many classic songs. has posted the interview segments from the special for online listening, look for the play button in the red bar on the right side of the page. While on their site be sure to check out the live version of "Pink Houses" from their archives. Read More
06/19/2010 - Here is an excerpt from the On The Rural Route 7609 review by Jim Bessman :

Mellencamp, who labored long and not so lovingly on the box had a much different objective in mind than chronologically recapping his career in the hits-focused manner of most such undertakings. Rather, he expressly sought to compile material that he felt had been wrongly overlooked in relation to his pop hits, and arranged the discs as if they were four new and distinct albums...

So On The Rural Route 7609 succeeds in rediscovering and reformatting material Mellencamp cut between 1976, when he began making records, and 2009...

Click "Read More" to read the complete review. It is also available at the website.
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06/18/2010 - Here is an excerpt from the On The Rural Route 7609 review by Darryl Morden :

Rural Route 7609 is for those want to dig deeper. Much deeper...

His work over a quarter-century has proven to been compelling, probing, and yeah, darn tuneful as well. Motivations, inspirations, whims and focus are explained in detail in must-read liner notes from music journalist Anthony DeCurtis and Mellencamp...

Mellencamp is traveling those dark paths and, as it stands, On the Rural Route 7609 is not just another ďbox set.Ē Itís not the ultimate chronology of his work for more than 30 years. Itís not something for a single sitting. A good part of the selections come from his past decade, which finds him as vital as ever ó charts, radio and all be damned. Itís Mellencampís opus ó a treatise on a decaying America where hope and good still live. But you have to find it, and thatís the hardest part of the journey...

Click "Read More" to read the co Read More
06/15/2010 - By Jim Beal Jr.

It's been a long time since John Mellencamp hasn't done things his way. When it came time to compile a career retrospective, the singer, songwriter, heartland rocker, painter, advocate for the family farmer and Americana godfather from Indiana could have hired someone to do the job. That's not the Mellencamp way.

For this four CD/fancy book package, with excellent liner notes penned by Anthony DeCurtis, Mellencamp jumped headfirst into the archives. He selected hits, demos, rarities, songs from a bunch of albums and a few spoken-word pieces, including one featuring his grandmother, Laura Mellencamp. Mellencamp then put them all together, not in chronological order, but in an order that flows something like a live show.

With 54 tracks, lyrics and essays about each entry, On the Rural Route 7609 is a heavy-duty, but nowhere near ponderous, look at Mellencamp as a songwriter. If you hit the rural route with John Mellencamp, it's not a shor Read More
06/14/2010 - Here are excerpts from the All Music Guide Review by Thom Jurek

Only John Mellencamp, whose career began with a series of wrong turns, raw determination, and the audaciousness to demand he be taken seriously could create a box set as strange, representative, and labyrinthine as On the Rural Route 7609. In the era of the track, Mellencamp has issued a massive, beautifully packaged, and exhaustively annotated four-disc career retrospective that doesn't lean on his hits...

The box isn't structured chronologically, but as four free standing albums, each with its own flavor and themes... Mellencamp reveals American darkness and violence, followed by Mellencamp's themes of personal accountability and consequence... Musically, there are no missteps; for all its winding paths and circles within circles, On Rural Route 7609 makes its case and perhaps sets a new standard for career retrospectives. Mellencamp is undoubtedly among the best rock & roll American singer/songwriters -- on or off Read More
06/11/2010 - has posted an extensive review of John's box set written by Anthony Kuzminski.

Here are some excerpts:

John Mellencamp has been among the best singer-songwriters the American landscape has ever produced. He appears to have found his muse and instead of chasing the tails of radio programmers, he has looked within and in 2008 created what may be possibly his greatest record, Life, Death, Love & Freedom...

Godfather to the alternative country movement and in truth, country radio today wouldn't be the same without records like The Lonesome Jubilee or Scarecrow. For every radio hit he had, there were two other songs just as remarkable on the respective records...

On the Rural Route 7609 helps pull Mellencamp's entire career into focus through interweaving themes and stories prevalent throughout Mellencamp's career...

Click Read More to read the full 2300 + word review or visit Read More
06/10/2010 - By David Browne - Article photo by Kurt Markus

John Mellencamp admits he wasn't stoked about compiling On the Rural Route 7609, his new four-disc retrospective. "I didn't have any interest in doing a box set - I know what happens with them," he says, "You go to the hits and you skip the rest." But the rocker saw an opportunity to turn casual fans on to his deep cuts - so each disc intersperses hits with lesser-known album tracks in non-chronological order. "People will discover that I have songs besides 'Pink Houses,'" he says. But it's not like Mellencamp, 58, is living in the past: In August, he'll release a new album, the T Bone Burnett - produced No Better Than This. And in 2012, he'll premiere Ghost Brothers of Darkland County, the musical he co-wrote with Stephen King. An LP of music from the show - featuring Elvis Costello and Rosanne Cash - is also in the can. In the meantime, Mellencamp reflects on some key tracks from Read More
05/24/2010 - MusicWorthBuying' Robert and TJR discuss John's new release On The Rural Route 7609 on their latest YouTube music review. Click HERE to view the music review video. Read More
05/20/2010 - The first review of On the Rural Route 7609 is out and it's a doozy. No Depression blogger Adam Sheets, an admitted "Mellen-maniac," takes the comprehensive cut-by-cut approach in relating the four-disc box set's entire contents.

"I have previously written on this site about John Mellencamp and his place in the Americana community and with On the Rural Route 7609, a box set which will be released on June 15, the music speaks for itself," writes Sheets. "Over the course of the set's four discs, many different sides of Mellencamp and his music are revealed and since the box focuses on album tracks and outtakes as opposed to hits, there are many songs here that will be new to even die-hard fans."

Noting that those desiring pop hits like "Small Town" and "Hurts So Good" "can look elsewhere," the accommodating Read More
04/06/2010 - We haven't heard John's four-disc ďOn The Rural Route 7609Ē box set (to be released in time for Fatherís Day)--at least not the way its 54 tracks have been compiled and sequenced. But we have had a sneak peek at Anthony DeCurtis's cut-by-cut liner notes--and now have a much better understanding of John's concept.

You'll recall how he's previously explained his focus on album material that he feels has been overlooked because of the huge pop hits that tended to dominate those albums--and his decision to arrange the songs as if they comprise four new and distinct albums, rather than in the chronological order of most box set career retrospectives. Well, it all makes more sense now that we've read the notes, in which John tells Grammy-winning Rolling Stone contributor DeCurtis about the varied origins of his songwriting.

For his part, DeCurtis offers thoughtful commentary. As he writes in reference to the first song "Longest Days"--which was inspired b Read More
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