Monday, August 4, 2014

CD Review: John Mellencamp Finally Brings "Trouble No More" To Town Hall

For the past ten years, fans have been hoping to be able to hear the live recording of John Mellencamp's 2003 two-date tour in support of his blues/folk album "Trouble No More." Upon its release in 2003 the album topped the Billboard blues chart and contained covers by Robert Johnson, Son House and Woody Guthrie. Mellencamp was then forced to go on the road to promote the album, to which he performed two shows. The first show took place at UCLA's Royce Hall and the second show would be held at the famous Town Hall in New York City. This show would be recorded to document the mini-tour. Now, ten years later the live recording of that second show is finally available as the debut release of John Mellencamp's newly signed deal with Universal Music Enterprises. The new live album entitled "John Mellencamp Performs 'Trouble No More' Live at Town Hall, July 21,2003" was released on July 8th.
The fifteen-song album features the entire performance which includes the "Trouble No More" album along with a cover of Bob Dylan's "Highway 61 Revisited" and three classic Mellencamp songs reworked. The show began with the sharp, stomp blues of Robert Johnson's "Stones In My Pathway" as Mellencamp sounds refreshed by these blues covers. The six-minute cover of "Death Letter" has Mellencamp and his band churning like a well-oiled machine. His lyrics of the acoustic original "To Washington" still resonates in the minds of Americans, while Dylan's "Highway 61 Revisited" is a freeing rebellious romp. The punk-like acoustic furry of "Johnny Hart" shows Mellencamp's passion for performing these American classics. He turns the first of his own classics "Small Town" into a blues ramble, while "Paper In Fire" still burns with smoldering rock. The show closed with "Pink Houses," highlighted with southern slide guitar that gives the original a bluesy feel.
To find out more about this great new live album by John Mellencamp, please visit

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