For the first time in 19 years, John Mellencamp is set to tour the UK and Europe with dates set for late June and July 2011. The No Better Than This tour is designed as a uniquely formatted “evening with,” and brings Mellencamp’s music to theatre-sized venues, a rare opportunity to experience one of America’s most iconic songwriters and performers in an intimate setting, highlighting all phases of his artistry.
The new No Better Than This Tour dates will take in Denmark, Germany, Netherlands, Ireland, UK, France, Italy, Switzerland and tickets for the UK dates go on sale Friday 18th March at 9AM via www.gigsandtours.com and 24 hr cc hotline 0844 811 0051.
The tour will feature both classic material associated with the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee’s 35+ year long career as well as new music from No Better Than This, released last year by Rounder Records and produced by T Bone Burnett. The album has garnered great critical acclaim with Q stating, "Veteran blue-collar songsmith goes back to basics. With Mellencamp relishing his role as grizzled troubadour steeped in Rootsy traditions of America’s rural south.
It was recorded in three historic locations in the American South: Savannah’s First African Baptist Church, Sun Studio in Memphis and Room 414 of San Antonio’s Gunter Hotel where Robert Johnson recorded in 1936. The sessions were documented on a 55-year-old mono tape recorder using just one vintage microphone at each location. Rolling Stone’s review of the album noted, “Mellencamp has never sounded looser or easier on a record,” suggesting the artist was “channelling spirits and stepping into period styles. They fit him perfectly.” The Americana Music Association recently honoured Mellencamp with its Lifetime Achievement Award for Songwriting, presented by Rosanne Cash.
As a reflection of the diversity of styles and material that have been a hallmark of Mellencamp’s eclectic career, the concerts are formatted into three segments. These showcase John Mellencamp in an acoustic context, fronting a small combo recalling blues/country and rockabilly roots and with his full rock band. Musicians backing Mellencamp include Michael Wanchic (guitar), Andy York (guitar), Miriam Sturm (violin), John Gunnell (electric and upright bass), Dane Clark (drums) and Troye Kinnett (accordion/keyboards).
Of special note is the fact that the tour’s “opening act,” is a documentary film by Kurt Markus entitled It’s About You. Shot on Super8 film over the course of 2009’s Bob Dylan-John Mellencamp-Willie Nelson tour of minor league baseball stadiums, it chronicles the creation of No Better Than This while serving as a cinematic ‘think piece’ on the state of the country at the end of the first decade of the 21st Century. The film had its theatrical premiere at this year’s SXSW® Film Festival in Austin, Texas.
Markus, whose still work has put him in the front ranks of contemporary American photographers, has been cited for his extraordinary vision of his work documenting the American West and is the recipient of Life Magazine’s Alfred Eisenstaedt Photography Award. Ticket holders are urged to get to their respective No Better Than This Tour venues on time to be on hand for the film’s start.
Mellencamp noted, “I’m very excited to have the opportunity at this time in my life to go on tour and present these songs in this manner.”
“Veteran blue-collar songsmith goes back to basics.. with Mellencamp relishing his role as grizzled troubadour steeped in Rootsy traditions of America’s rural South.” Better Than This – Q
Fans should to log on to www.mellencamp.com for the most up-to-date concert and ticket on-sale information.
John Mellencamp No Better Than This Tour,
TICKETS FOR UK DATES ON SALE FRIDAY 18TH MARCH, 2011
26th The Hague
1st Manchester O2 Apollo
2nd London HMV Hammersmith Apollo
9th Vigevano10th Rome
About John Mellencamp
John Mellencamp’s career in music has spanned more than 35 years during which time he transitioned from pre-fab pop idol to one of the most highly regarded mature songwriters of a generation.
Mellencamp fell in love with music at an early age and was fronting a soul band in his native Indiana by the time he was 14. He would go on to release 26 albums with domestic sales exceeding 40 million units. He has been nominated for 13 Grammys, was recipient of Billboard’s Century Award, ASCAP Foundation’s Champion Award, The Woody Guthrie Award, Q’s Classic Songwriter Award and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Mellencamp has amassed 22 Top 40 hits and holds the record for the most tracks by a solo artist to hit #1 on the Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks Chart. The social activism that is reflected in his songs was one of the key catalysts that launched Farm Aid, the concert series and organization that has addressed the struggle of American family farmers for more than 25 years. The unique instrumentation of his band and overall approach is widely credited with being the forbear of the Americana/No Depression genre of rural-inflected music.
Mellencamp is an accomplished painter whose work has been the focus of several one-man gallery exhibitions as well as a joint showing with Miles Davis. He has been working, in collaboration with Stephen King, on play with music entitled Ghost Brothers of Darkland County that will be stages in the spring of 2012 at Atlanta’s Alliance Theate.
For the latest news visit http://www.mellencamp.com/