John Mellencamp kicks off a brief summer tour tonight (July 3rd) in Niagara Falls, New York at Seneca Niagara Casino. Mellencamp played a couple of warm-up gigs last month in Thackerville, Oklahoma, and -- all told -- will play a total of seven dates throughout the summer, mainly at casinos. In May, Mellencamp signed a "lifetime" recording deal with Republic Records via Universal Music Group and plans to release his next album -- his 22nd -- titled, Plain Spoken, sometime this fall. The terms of the new deal were not made public.
With over 35 years in business, we asked John Mellencamp how he sees himself and the state of his career in the present day: "Fortunate -- but unlucky. Unlucky enough to be a rock star. Y'know, you turn on the radio and you hear Pink Houses for the 9,000th time, and you assume that's all that John Mellencamp does. Led Zeppelin was a lot more than 'Stairway To Heaven,' but, y'know, that's what you hear. Y'know, it's not just me -- y'know, the Rolling Stones are always more than 'Honky Tonk Women.' Bob Seger was always more than, y'know, 'Night Moves,' but sorry -- that's all you hear all the time. Of course you and I know that rock is over. We've had our 40 years. And so now, it's just total freedom to me. I don't have to listen to anybody (laughs), I don't do -- y'know, do exactly what I wanna do.”
John Mellencamp tour dates (subject to change):
July 3 - Niagara Falls, NY - Seneca Niagara
July 5 - Uncasville, CT - Mohegan Sun Arena
July 6 - Atlantic City, NJ - Borgata Event Center
July 18 - Cheyenne, WY - Frontier Nights
July 19 - Minot, ND - North Dakota State Fair
July 30, 31 - Orillia, ON - Casino Rama
August 1 - Windsor, ON - Caesars Windsor Casino
• Coming on July 8th is the live album, John Mellencamp Performs ‘Trouble No More Live’ At Town Hall. The full band set features John Mellencamp caught live in New York City on July 31st, 2003 performing his then-recently released folk based covers set, Trouble No More, a few of his own classic tunes -- along with those by good friends Lucinda Williams and Bob Dylan. Mellencamp’s critically acclaimed Trouble No More album featured songs by such legends as Woody Guthrie, Hoagy Carmichael, Willie Dixon, Robert Johnson, and Son House, among others.
• Trouble No More was released on June 3rd, 2003 and debuted at Number One on the Billboard Blues Chart. The new album marks Mellencamp’s second concert collection, following 2009’s Life, Death, Live And Freedom -- which was a liver version of the studio set Life, Death, Love And Freedom.