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 on: September 28, 2017, 02:52:14 pm 
Started by rickmalan - Last post by sharonc
I was wondering if there were any rumors of more concert dates in the near future. Possibly with venues in the St. Louis/Southern Illinois/Southern Indiana area. Some of John's tours have started in this area, but this one seemed to miss this area almost completely. I hope he comes back home to the Midwest before long so his "hometown" fans can go to 1, 2, or even 3 of his concerts. I have done it on past tours and want to do it again!

Currently there are no future touring dates planned.

 on: September 23, 2017, 09:37:04 pm 
Started by rickmalan - Last post by rickmalan
I was wondering if there were any rumors of more concert dates in the near future. Possibly with venues in the St. Louis/Southern Illinois/Southern Indiana area. Some of John's tours have started in this area, but this one seemed to miss this area almost completely. I hope he comes back home to the Midwest before long so his "hometown" fans can go to 1, 2, or even 3 of his concerts. I have done it on past tours and want to do it again!

 on: September 22, 2017, 10:40:09 am 
Started by sharonc - Last post by sharonc
 Joe Scarborough of MSNBC'S Morning Joe sits down with the one and only singer/songwriter John Mellencamp for a talk about Mellencamp 's new music, his politics, activism in the age of Trump and the history of Farm Aid .

 on: September 21, 2017, 11:02:59 am 
Started by sharonc - Last post by sharonc
John sat down with MSNBC'S Morning Joe host, Joe Scarborough, at The Cutting Room in New York City to tape an in-depth interview, airing this Friday, September 22nd at 8:45AM, ET on MSNBC TV.

While at The Cutting Room, John performed "Easy Target," one of the new songs from his recent release Sad Clowns & Hillbillies. The recorded performance will air on Saturday, September 23rd at 3:45PM, ET during MSNBC's exclusive broadcast of the Global Citizen Festival beginning at 3PM, ET with hosts Chris Hayes and Joy Reid. Click to discover how to watch the concert and John's performance. 

 on: September 17, 2017, 08:26:00 am 
Started by MrSickboy50 - Last post by Maradona10
I wonder how many songs were recorded with Stan Lynch and Izzy Stradlin?

Still waiting on the definitive Mellencamp book to probs such questions. As an aside, Kenny's book was great! Currently enjoying the John Mellencamp: American Troubadour book, but it's not so much a biography as a critical appraisal of JM's lyrics; I found it hard to believe that the book's index doesn't even have Larry Crane or Dave Grisdom listed at all (even Kenny receives only one mention).

I hope we get a rarities box set at some point; the Rural Route box set was, in the end, underwhelming for long time JM aficionados.

 on: September 17, 2017, 08:14:33 am 
Started by Maradona10 - Last post by Maradona10
Hi there,

I'm looking to download a few shows to burn to disc for the car.

Does anybody pease have:

Shoreline Amphitheatre 1988
Saratoga 1992
Carnegie Hall 1991

And/or any other outstanding shows you think would be a great listen? Recent shows welcome as well, as I have absolutely nothing from recent years.

I have the usual suspects - 4th July 1992, Dallas '88, Belmont Mall '87, live rehearsals '91, etc and the 82/84 radio radio broadcasts on bootleg CD already.

Any help appreciated.

 on: September 11, 2017, 12:39:01 pm 
Started by cge333 - Last post by cge333
Didn't see this posted anywhere else.  He played a big part in John's career as well as the careers of many others.

 on: September 03, 2017, 08:55:33 pm 
Started by williehagfan1 - Last post by williehagfan1
I'm sure that many of John's fans know what he did at the Rock N' Roll hall of Fame, but I had to give him a big thumbs up for doing it. Here's one of rock's greatest of all time, and he thinks enough of his fans to stop by while in the area and do a show for the people totally unexpected! We here every day about people in the entertainment field, whether it be singers, actors, athletes, etc. wanting more money. But, then you have John Mellencamp who does his best to keep the price of his shows down as much as possible, and then he does something like this. This is just one of the reasons that there is a difference between John and most other performers. He really cares about his fans. He's always been this way, and always will be. John, I wasn't there, but man you gave a bunch of people a real thrill. Thanks for being the guy you are.

 on: September 01, 2017, 08:12:13 am 
Started by sharonc - Last post by sharonc

John J. MoserContact Reporter
When John Mellencamp sang in his nostalgic 1987 hit “Cherry Bomb” that “we were young and we were improvin',” the implication was that, at his age, he was neither.

It’s hard to say whether Mellencamp, after a career of more than 40 years and now at age 65, is getting better. But his concert Thursday headlining Allentown Fair’s grandstand showed his performance skills still are great, and his music as relevant as ever — perhaps even more so in our troubled times and to an audience that also is no longer young.

Mellencamp certainly still is creating great new music. His show started with a bluesy, boozy blast of “Lawless Times” from his 2014 album “Plain Spoken,” his expressive, six-person band barreling behind him.

“John Cockers” from his 2008 disc “Life, Death, Love and Freedom,” was similarly strong world’s-gone-to-hell blues, with his voice a mean growl.

And a great version of “Minutes to Memories,” a minor hit from 1986, showed just how deep Mellencamp’s catalog is.

The first hit song Mellencamp played from his 1980s heyday was the most appropriate for the location: “Small Town,” an invocation of love for the agrarian life the fair represents. But he played it far more rugged and rocky, perhaps jaded by time.

But he followed it with the growled Delta blues of Robert Johnson’s “Stones in My Passing,” then a wicked, dirty-groove version of his hit “Pop Singer” — just in case you didn’t believe he “never wanted to write no pop songs.”

Then he dove into two of the hits fans clearly wanted to hear. “Check It Out” was even more wistful, as Mellencamp sang, “Is this all that we’ve learned about living?” and a mournful guitar and soul-searing violin soared behind him.

Then his biggest hit, “Jack & Diane,” with its prescient lyrics, “Oh yeah, life goes on/Long after the thrill of living is gone,” done alone on an acoustic guitar, with the crowd gleefully singing the choruses.

“This next song I’ve been singing for a long time, and I’ll keep singing for as long as you want to hear it,” Mellencamp told the crowd of 4,232, introducing the song.

Mellencamp returned to the present with three songs from his excellent new disc “Sad Clowns and Hillbillies.” The first two were offered as duets with opening act Carleen Carter: The thumping and gritty “Grandview,” Carter singing far more emphatically than she did during her own set, and the fun and bouncy gospel number “My Soul’s Got Wings.” Then he did ”Easy Target.”

He left the stage for his fiddle player and accordionist to play an instrumental medley of his early John Cougar hits, including “Ain’t Even Done with the Night” and “I Need a Lover.”

Mellencamp returned with a run of hits, starting with the ominous warning of “Rain on the Scarecrow” — another appropriate song for the fair. The cautionary “Paper in Fire” and its lyric “We keep no check on our appetite” resonated even more in this era, and it ran right into a booming, rumbling and loud “Crumbling Down.”

A rollicking ”Authority Song” had the crowd dancing, especially when Mellencamp added a two-minute segue of the 1960s song “Land of 1,000 Dances.”

“I wrote this song when I was 26, and I still feel the same way I did when I wrote it,” Mellencamp said. “And I can tell there’s some people out here that feel the same way.”

He closed the main set with a wonderful “Pink Houses,” again bringing out Carter to sing with him. It was far more reflective and bitterly more ironic that the original — all the nuances that current country hit-maker Old Dominion so badly missed when it did a version of the song on Sunday, 8 miles away at Levitt Pavilion SteelStacks in Bethlehem.

Before the encore, Mellencamp talked about how members of his band have been with him 40 years, and how they talk about the old times.

“It’s only appropriate that we close the show with a song about old times,” he said before kicking into “Cherry Bomb.”

But it was as good as it was when he first sang it 30 years ago. If Mellencamp isn’t still improving, maybe it’s because he was so good to begin with.

Carter, unappreciated by a restless early crowd, opened the show with a lovely nine-song set that started with her 1993 Top 5 “Every Little Thing,” but sang none of her other hits from that era.

Instead, she included the Carter Family songs (she’s a daughter of June Carter Cash) “May the Circle Be Unbroken” and “Little Black Train.”

“That doesn’t mean that I still cannot rock like hell,” she said.

Her mother and stepfather, Johnny Cash, played the fair five times. “So I probably was here before with them,” she said.

At piano, her voice shone and soared on the lovely “Lonesome Valley,” a tribute to her mother and Cash from her recent album, “Carter Girl.”

But perhaps her best was a mournful, lovely version of “Easy From Now On,” the hit she wrote that was recorded by Emmylou Harris and, more recently, by Miranda Lambert. Again at piano, she closed with the devastating self-examination song “Change.”

 on: August 30, 2017, 08:31:12 am 
Started by sharonc - Last post by sharonc

Mellencamp unleashes his ’80s heartland rock at the Grandstand

John Mellencamp performs at the concert “Sing me Back Home: The Music of Merle Haggard” at Bridgestone Arena on Thursday, April 6, 2017, in Nashville, Tenn. Mellencamp and his band performed at the Minnesota State Fair Grandstand Tuesday night. (Photo by Al Wagner/Invision/AP)

By ROB HUBBARD | Special to the Pioneer Press
PUBLISHED: August 29, 2017 at 11:04 pm | UPDATED: August 29, 2017 at 11:50 pm

Songs of the heartland have always been a good fit for the Minnesota State Fair. Music about life on farms and growing up in small towns has long been a staple for the artists performing at the fair’s Grandstand, where country is often king.

So perhaps it’s surprising that John Mellencamp — who for decades has been singing about those small towns and the altered expectations of its inhabitants amid economic strife — has never performed at the Grandstand … until Tuesday night.

In some ways, the Indiana-born (and still-based) Mellencamp can sound like he was raised in the same towns as so many country stars, but that he’s always viewed that landscape through a different lens.

It’s a place he loves, but he’s well acquainted with its shortcomings and the anger and despair at the lack of opportunity and fairness encountered by too many who live there. Yet he’s channeled those feelings into many a memorable song, often tapping into an exhilarating sense of commonality that can transform his simple, propulsive rockers into anthems.

On Tuesday, it seemed like Mellencamp was going to tip toward the folk and country feel that’s become a more central part of his sound over the past decade, emphasizing fiddle, accordion, harmonica and strumming acoustic guitars.

But, somewhere during the evening, he decided to unleash the rocker who first graced the radio as John Cougar back in the ‘80s. His set veered more and more toward songs from that decade and his thunderous band subsequently bludgeoned the folk feel out of the set.

On some level, that’s too bad, for the most stripped-down numbers were often the most compelling, such as when Mellencamp howled passionately on Robert Johnson’s vintage blues song, “Stones in My Passway,” accompanied only by steel guitar, upright bass and a small drum kit played with brushes.

He seemed similarly excited about “Grandview,” a blues-based rocker from his latest album for which he exchanged verses with Carlene Carter, who opened the evening with a disarmingly intimate solo set that showed June Carter Cash’s daughter has evolved into a fine singer-songwriter. It’s good to have her back after a lengthy break in her career.

Considering that Mellencamp seems to have been distancing himself from his rocking past and becoming more of a country gentleman — a persona that fit with the black suits and Kentucky colonel ties worn by him and his band — it was a surprise that 11 of the 17 songs Tuesday were from the ‘80s, from a solo acoustic take on 1982’s “Jack and Diane” (mostly a sing-along, but one botched by a crowd anxious to get to the chorus too early) to 1989’s snarling rejection of his industry, “Pop Singer.”

Yet maybe Mellencamp has realized that he likes the rock star role after all, for he certainly seemed the charismatic frontman of old — displaying energy belying his 65 years — after stripping off his jacket to perform in white T-shirt and vest for a closing collection of six ‘80s tunes. The show climaxed when a dark rumble permeated “Crumblin’ Down” and the boisterous crowd of 12,637 made the defeatist “Authority Song” sound like a joyous celebration of a common fate.

When a similar top-of-the-lungs hootenanny broke out on “Pink Houses,” it felt like country music without the drawl and twang, an all-American sing-along with a skeptical smile. Yes, Mellencamp explores the dark side of life in the fields and hamlets, but his affection for those places came through clearly on Tuesday, especially as he closed with the nostalgic “Cherry Bomb” before the fair’s fireworks blew skyward.

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