John Mellencamp Community
April 02, 2015, 04:39:37 am *
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News: John's new album Plain Spoken available 9-23-2014!
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 on: April 01, 2015, 04:30:33 pm 
Started by kstucker - Last post by kstucker
No words can adequately describe the show last night in Durham, NC!!  John and the band played 2 hours and the crowd spent most of the time on their feet, dancing and singing.  My husband and I were very fortunate to have center seats in row 2 in the pit and the experience was awesome!!  We have seen JM many times and this was by far one of his VERY best performances...he and the band were on fire and full of energy!!  I am going to be checking seat availability for some shows this summer as seeing him once this year is simply not enough!!  Smiley

 on: April 01, 2015, 08:52:08 am 
Started by sgoodwin - Last post by sgoodwin
Mellenheads - I have not seen any messages about John's I thought I'd throw in my observations from a show last week.

I like to see John in a new venue if possible when he tours.  This year we were able to see his show in North Charleston at the Performing Arts Center.   What a fantastic venue ...not too big and not too small.

My initial thought - get good seats and go.   I just get an overall feeling of happiness with John and the band (relaxed)....they are professional and just outright good at what they do.   How lucky/blessed are we that he is playing in these small venues.

In past tours, it appeared more of a job...while I am sure that's still the case...the mixture of different types/style of music ...allowed the band freedom/flexibility.

What's interesting....John is still a rocker...but in this tour you also see a blues side (Stones in My Passway and If I Die Sudden)....a Van Morrison type where he stretches his singing style.   It showed....any my wife who has been to about 6 of the shows with me (who isn't a real big fan)....felt and saw the was the most fun she ever had.   She can see (over the years) that part of the reason they are so good is the continuity of the band.....she loves Mirium.....again, how lucky we are.

About the songs....I am not of fan of Lawless Times as the opener (I think it's the worst song on Plain Spoken).   Favorites - Minutes to Memories (always), love Small Town as a rock song, LOngest Days, and Isolation of Mister.

While Full Castastrophe was very different... I liked the different presentation/singing style.

I can't say I'm a fan of Jack and Diane as solo acoustic - but the common fan loves it.  Instead of 2 songs with Carlene Carter....I wish he'd pull out 2 from his 400 song catalog that we never heard.   But i understand he has to please the common fan.    And he always closes with a rash of kick ass rock and roll....I still enjoy them all.

In short....go go and go.   One of the better shows I've ever seen .... looking forward to the Red Bank, NJ show.

They (John and the band) get better as they get older ... don't miss them never know about tomorrow.


 on: April 01, 2015, 04:59:19 am 
Started by TonyBClubManager - Last post by Joshhalfter
Easy to read and understand it better like that.

 on: April 01, 2015, 04:58:51 am 
Started by belreno - Last post by Joshhalfter
Content that is easy to understand and feel better.

 on: March 31, 2015, 01:08:09 pm 
Started by walktall2010 - Last post by walktall2010
Mellencamp is gritty, still cool
By Rashid Ollison

John Mellencamp is still cool.

That leather-tough Midwestern swagger that made him a superstar of heartland rock back in the ’80s, it’s still there. But at 63 – grayer, thicker around the middle, with noticable, though attractive, grit on the vocal chords – Mellencamp begrudgingly accepts being sentimental, something that usually comes with age.

During his nearly sold-out show at Chrysler Hall in Norfolk on Sunday night, he vacillated between the charming, sentimental guy and the rebellious, devil-may-care Mellencamp that sold millions of albums 30 years ago. But neither side was incongruous with the other, given that his music, even the most vinegary lyric, has always carried an idealistic vision of American life. Mellencamp sang of death and scarecrows, of wise grandmothers and dashed dreams, all with a well-manipulated mix of bluesy conviction and rock-star panache.

The artist and his tight, energetic six-piece band married formality with raucousness. They were all dressed in vintage tuxes, including Mellencamp who later got rid of the jacket, sporting a T-shirt under his vest. The lone female member, a violinist, was barefoot in a black lace gown.

They opened with “Lawless Times,” a rockabilly shuffle from Mellencamp’s latest album, “Plain Spoken,” a song with Bob Dylan’s prints all over it.

The lyrics are unabashedly pessimistic and snarky:

“You can’t trust the priest/You’d better watch your behind/Don’t look too close at the government/Hard tellin’ what you’ll find.”

“Plain Spoken” is an apt title not only for his new album but the way the singer-songwriter approaches lyrics these days, staying well within the limits of his frayed voice. There was no snarl in Mellencamp’s voice, something a less-experienced singer would have to affect to get such embittered lyrics across.

But Mellencamp can still summon some power and bombast when he wants to, especially when performing the hits of yesterday. On “Small Town,” a nostalgic smash for Mellencamp when he was 34-years-old, the singer imbued the lyric with more bite than he did three decades ago.

The quiet rage at good times long gone simmered during “The Isolation of Mister,” a cut from his latest album that Mellencamp couldn’t have sung during his rock heyday, when he often poetically chronicled the hopes and disillusions of baby boomers in middle America.

Those songs, most of them vivid and solidly written, still hold up. “Jack and Diane,” one of Mellencamp’s best tunes, was given an unplugged treatment, as the rocker sang with just an acoustic guitar and invited the house to join him on the chorus.

Perhaps the most affected moment of the nearly two-hour show, where Mellencamp completely indulged his sentimental side, came during an all-acoustic performance of “Longest Days,” a somber ballad about the shortness of life.

But the rollicking energy soon returned as he reached back to the songs that cemented his legend. “Crumbling Down,” an MTV staple in 1983, sounded just as gloriously rowdy as it did back in the Reagan era. The ’60s soul undercurrent of “Authority Song” was more pronounced as Mellencamp folded in an interpolation of Wilson Pickett’s “Land of 1,000 Dances.”

“I hate to admit it,” Mellencamp said with a smirk, “but I’m that old guy who talks about old times.”

Then he launched into “Pink Houses” followed by “Cherry Bomb,” two songs vibrant with sentimental images of the past. Mellencamp sang them with a mix of steely swagger and regretful longing.

And, of course, the sense of cool this veteran rocker hasn’t lost.

 on: March 30, 2015, 10:38:41 am 
Started by walktall2010 - Last post by Sk8ingMellenhead
Just by reading this small piece of the book, I can already tell I will love it. This is evidently written by a fan who not only "gets it", but can also see through and feel. I can only imagine the time and effort put into this, and I look forward to enjoying it. I saw the book in a store recently and thumbed through the bibliography, which was extremely impressive.

David, Thank you for your time and dedication to the man and his music!

 on: March 29, 2015, 12:56:04 pm 
Started by walktall2010 - Last post by davidm32285
Thank you for your interest, and for sharing the excerpt. I've loved Mellencamp's music deeply and dearly for many years now, and I hope that all the fellow fans appreciate the treatment I give the music in my book.

David Masciotra

 on: March 28, 2015, 03:47:40 pm 
Started by walktall2010 - Last post by walktall2010
Download John's show in Fort Lauderdale, Florida show from March 17, 2015 at the link below. Sound quality is tremendous, as is the performance.


01 Lawless Times
02 Troubled Man
03 Minutes To Memories
04 Small Town
05 Stones In My Passway
06 Human Wheels
07 The Isolation Of Mister
08 Check It Out
09 John Telling Story
10 Longest Days
11 Jack And Diane
12 The Full Catastrophe
13 Away From This World (with Carlene Carter)
14 Tear This Cabin Down (with Carlene Carter)
15 Overture
16 Rain On The Scarecrow
17 Paper In Fire
18 If I Die Sudden
19 Crumblin' Down
20 Authority Song/Land Of 1,000 Dances
21 Pink Houses
22 Band Introductions
23 Cherry Bomb

 on: March 28, 2015, 03:44:11 pm 
Started by walktall2010 - Last post by walktall2010
Concert Review: Mellencamp affirms his musical relevancy has staying power

Read more here:

At 63, John Mellencamp is every bit as edgy and his music just as relevant as when he came on the scene in the 1970s. And he affirmed that Friday during his Plain Spoken tour stop at Oven’s Auditorium.

Dressed in all black with his hair slicked back, Mellencamp walked on stage with his six-piece band and jumped into singing “Lawless Times” about 8:35 p.m.

Released in 2014 on his Plain Spoken album (his 22nd studio album), the jazzy song about corruption perfectly complemented Mellencamp’s gruff voice as he warned listeners that you can’t trust anyone.

And with the big-band style song showcasing Mellencamp’s elaborate musical ensemble, it set the tone for an evening that was just as rich in musical talent as it was in lyrical potency.

Mellencamp continued with the newer “Troubled Man” from 2014 and the older “Minutes to Memories” from 1985. His next song, the famous “Small Town” from 1985, drew the crowd to their feet as they sang along loudly and gave sustained applause to afterward.

“Thank you very much. I’m John Mellencamp,” he said afterward. “Now we’re going to be doing all kinds of songs tonight. Songs you know and songs you don’t know, songs you can sing along to and songs you can dance to.”

Mellencamp definitely delivered on his promise, performing more than a dozen songs that included “Stones in My Passway,” “Pink Houses” and “Rain on the Scarecrow.”

And although he stuck to strumming his guitar and walking around the stage – and his stage decorations included little more than colorful lights and a backscreen with graffiti on it - he sure did command the auditorium with his machismo. The decades in show business haven’t smoothed over those rough edges or covered up the grit from his small-town Indiana roots.

Maybe it’s his gravelly voice or his robust stature but Mellencamp has definitely preserved that tough guy persona.

And yet, for all his influence on stage, two of his bandmates threatened to upstage him throughout the night.

Miriam Sturm - the only female in the band and dressed in a gothically dainty long-flowing black tutu skirt and tank-top - was phenomenal on the violin, vigorously strumming as she precisely hit each note.

And what a musical treasure trove Troy Kinnett was on stage, seamlessly transitioning from playing the accordion, harmonica and keyboard – and all with just as much gusto.

One of the most memorable moments of the night came when the two enjoyed several minutes of stagetime alone as they performed an intense instrumental duet with white spotlights on them.

Earlier in the night, Carlene Carter of Carter Family fame, also set the bar high when she kicked the show off at 7:30. Singing on such country music bread-and-butter topics as family, faith and heritage, Carter confirmed that she had inherited the musical prowess that made her grandmother (Mother Maybelle Carter) and mother (June Carter) mainstays in country music history.

With her sweet Southern twang, Carter captivated the audience with just herself and her guitar on stage, belting out songs like “Every Little Thing” and “Little Black Train.”

She also delighted attendees with short vignettes of growing up in the Carter family, describing how her mother told her she should get married before she had sex or she would be going to hell.

“So I got married a whole lot,” said Carter to laughter.

For a couple of songs, her husband, Joseph Breen, joined her on stage. And while it was endearing to see the couple singing together, the two almost seemed to be having a power struggle over who could sing the loudest on “Lonesome Valley 2003,” a song about the death of Carter’s mom.

The cacophonous harmonizing distracted from the vulnerability of the song’s lyrics and Carter would have done better to sing it alone, even if it was originally intended as a duet (with Vince Gills).

Mellencamp definitely appeared to appreciate the talent he had with him on stage, although there were a couple of moments where that appreciation got awkwardly affectionate. At a couple of seemingly random junctures, Mellencamp hooked Sturm into his arms and the two whispered things into each others ears and laughed. The two even kissed each other a couple of times.

Now that’s just going to make the other bandmates suspicious that she’s your favorite, John.

Although not officially listed on tour materials, the audience - a respectable portion of which were of the Baby Boomer generation – sure did make for some enthusiastic back-up singers.

At times, some might even say a bit over-zealous.

As Mellencamp started singing “Jack and Diane,” the audience commandeered the song, belting out the chorus when there was still one verse left to sing first.

“Not yet,” he playfully chided. “We’re on the first section now. That’s called the chorus. There’s two verses and then the chorus.”

Throughout the night, Mellencamp’s musings hinted that perhaps the sands of time have softened this rough-around-the-edges Baby Boomer’s heart a little bit.

Before singing “Longest Days,” he reflected on the fact that many people start out life with a big dream, only for the outside world to tell them to “keep your mouth shut, your eyes down and eat your eggs.”

“But when you get to be about my age, you realize that having the dream was the important thing and never losing the dream was the important thing,” he said. “Whether you achieve the dream or not, it doesn’t really matter.”

He closed the concert with “Cherry Bomb,” which Mellencamp described as “a song about old times.”

The final song was fitting given that, while many of Mellencamp’s most famous songs come from a different time, their sentiments of small-town America and justice for the common man still hold just as much clout for today’s listeners.

 on: March 23, 2015, 05:50:02 pm 
Started by walktall2010 - Last post by jakesmom204
From what I have read here, I am so looking forward to this book. This author "gets it."

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