John Mellencamp speaks plainly in May on new DVD/CD

Songwriter, storyteller, musician, actor, artist, social activist and fishmonger John Mellencamp has announced the release of ‘Plain Spoken: From The Chicago Theatre’  which comes out on DVD+CD, Blu-ray+CD, and digital formats on May 11th. “Try to keep it as plain spoken as possible…” are the first words you hear in this self-narrated musical journey which steps outside the boundaries of a concert film or documentary and blends personal voice-overs from Mellencamp with live footage of him performing with his full band at the Chicago Theatre, 250 miles from his native Indiana. Mellencamp tells the story of his Midwestern upbringing, the trials, turns and triumphs of his career, and his overall outlook on life while the music plays, supporting his stories.  Continue reading “John Mellencamp speaks plainly in May on new DVD/CD”

Blitzen Trapper “Wild And Reckless” (Lojinx, 2017)

The thing which saved Blitzen Trapper from being run of the mill was their embracing of risk: they can be joyous and frustrating, and on this record they are no different, only, in common with their recent releases, less so. They start with the blue-collar Americana of Rebel and then they hit paydirt of sorts with the title track which hits the spot somewhere between the Drive By Truckers and Bryan Adams, which is not meant to sound snide. The song is a fist-pumper, balancing a strain of nostalgic melancholy with an uplifting chorus that cuts straight to the point. It should be the sound that pours out of a thousand convertibles. Continue reading “Blitzen Trapper “Wild And Reckless” (Lojinx, 2017)”

John Mellencamp: “Really I’m a Socialist” – Watch

Welcome to the club John!  Always ahead of his time politically and joining a growing movement of US citizens who are kind of disenchanted with the last 40 years, this is an interesting interview from CBS over the weekend.  (Oh and he also talks about his new album if you’re sick of politics.) RS Country report: “John Mellencamp talked Farm Aid, his new album Sad Clowns & Hillbillies, mortality and how his political views differ from his fans in a wide-ranging interview with CBS Sunday Morning. “The reason we made that record was because we were noticing that the landscape of Indiana is changing,” Mellencamp said of Scarecrow in an extended interview with Sunday Morning’s Jane Pauley. Continue reading “John Mellencamp: “Really I’m a Socialist” – Watch”

This year’s Farm Aid: Willie Nelson, Neil Young and more

Who knew that a benefit gig for family farm agriculture could conjure up such a stellar line up?  Rolling Stone report: “Farm Aid, the annual charity concert that has raised over $50 million since its 1985 inaugural show, is set to take place September 16th at Burgettstown, Pennsylvania’s KeyBank Pavilion. Farm Aid board members Willie Nelson, Neil Young, John Mellencamp and Dave Matthews will perform in addition to Jack Johnson, the Avett Brothers, Sheryl Crow, Jamey Johnson, Blackberry Smoke, Valerie June, Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real and Insects vs. Robots.  Continue reading “This year’s Farm Aid: Willie Nelson, Neil Young and more”