John Mellencamp-- Troubled Land
While he doesn't consider himself a rock singer anymore, John Mellencamp none the less still seems to be able to deliver the goods.
He has just released his latest recording, Life, Death, Love, and Freedom, a production given some extra attention by the highly acclaimed T Bone Burnett who handled the production of this his twenty third recording, the twentieth studio effort that offers up new music.
His contribution to this new recording involves changing the dynamic of the listening experience by working on a new standard for recording music, this recording has been released in DVD-Audio, which offers the listener any number of options to experience music delivered in a more layered and true sound, or at least that's the hope they have for the new technology.
Accompanying the release has been an avalanche of press material and a documentary feature on the US Biography channel which we're sure will eventually make its way across the border into Canada, especially when you consider his strong and loyal following north of the line.
And while his sound may not be the anthemic rock and roll standards of the Lonesome Jubilee Days or Pink Houses, his current mixture of country and blues is every bit reflective of the state of America in 2008, as his harder edged earlier works were decades earlier.
Mellencamp is an ongoing history project for music fans, his songs provide an aural interpretation of the beat of the United States and its people, their hopes and fears, victories and disappointments.
His observations of the ebb and flow of America are as vital today, as when he first appeared on the scene and gave the Midwest it's time in the American music machines spotlight.
Our selection tonight is indicative of his examination of that American soul, Troubled Land, one of a number of songs that have been getting impressive reviews upon the release of the recording.
This selection we found for our presentation is from all places, a show in Red Deer, Alberta, a fairly good quality representation of his sound and the direction that his work is taking these days.
Through these many decades he's had any number of health scares and record company battles, yet still here he is, still cooking in 2008, perhaps with a lower decibel count, but with just as much emotion and intelligence as ever.
His offerings this time around, reflect a growing awareness that in America all the roads aren't paved with gold, some have been left behind and there is much work left to do.
Some of it starts with listening to a few songs.
Artist-- John Mellencamp
Recording-- Life, Death, Love, and Freedom