John will return from a four-year recording hiatus on September 23rd with Plain Spoken, his first album under a groundbreaking "lifetime contract" with Republic Records. Listen to an exclusive stream of its lead single, the acoustic guitar-driven "Troubled Man" on RollingStone.com
Sessions for Plain Spoken began in Indiana this past January. "I've got a notebook with 85 new songs that I've written for my next record," Mellencamp told Rolling Stone last December. "I don't know if any of those songs will make the record, but we arranged them and recorded them on a small digital recorder. And this month I'm bringing out the core of the band, not the violinist, but the guitar players and bass player, and we're gonna go over the new stuff."
No dates have been announced for the accompanying tour, but Mellencamp had
also said that he would like to play to a variety of venues: "I'm going to
devise a show that works in arenas and theaters so I can go back and forth. Like
anything else, if you do too much of one or the other you get burned out. I will
probably never play outside again though. I really have a terrible taste in my
mouth from playing outside."