Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Trouble No More
Genres: Country, Pop, Rock, Classic Rock
Before John Mellencamp recorded his classic Scarecrow, he learned hundreds of classic rock covers from the '60s. Here the Indiana troubadour ventures back to the very roots of American popular music, learning traditional s... more »
Before John Mellencamp recorded his classic Scarecrow, he learned hundreds of classic rock covers from the '60s. Here the Indiana troubadour ventures back to the very roots of American popular music, learning traditional songs associated with the likes of Robert Johnson, Son House, Howlin' Wolf, and Woody Guthrie. The result is Mellencamp's rawest album to date, updating the acoustic sounds of those early idioms for modern times while keeping them firmly rooted in tradition. In that sense, it's not unlike his hero Bob Dylan's two country-blues cover albums from the mid-'90s--though the ever-mischievous Mellencamp has a little fun with his definitions here, paying tribute to his Hoosier background by covering Bloomington native Hoagy Carmichael's "Brooklyn Oriole" and Lucinda Williams's 1980 ode to "Lafayette," while pulling a beautiful stark version of Skeeter Davis's wonderful 1963 country-pop ballad "End of the World" out of left field. The former James Brown impersonator has never sang better. The album closes with "To Washington," credited to Mellencamp, but actually a "borrowed blues" that's been used to address political figures as far back as Calvin Coolidge when recorded by Charlie Poole, the Carter Family, and Guthrie. This time, the song addresses one George W. Bush and surely won't gain Mellencamp any new fans among those who'd support a Dixie Chicks boycott. --Bill Holdship
Similarly Requested CDs
Outstanding blues by John
audiodude | Illinois USA | 05/27/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"A friend loaned me this cd and I thought, blues from a rocker again? yeah, right. I was stunned by the faithful sound John gives us, particularly on Death letter and Stones in my passway. I listened to the original versions and the guitar is perfect on these. His voice has a good bluesy growl, and overall this is an excellent blues album."
Contract No More
Tim Brough | Springfield, PA United States | 07/27/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)
"John Mellencamp made no secret about the fact that his tenure on Columbia was not much to his liking. Seems the did the usual artistic meddling (most notoriously complaining about India Aire's appearance on "Cuttin' Heads"), and the hastily recorded "Trouble No More" carries the scent of a contract buster.
Alleged to have come together after Mellencamp performed "Stones In My Passway" at a tribute to journalist Timothy White (to whom the album is dedicated), Mellencamp and his band spent two weeks recording a roots-influenced set of covers. While the bulk leans to old blues (Son House's "Death Letter" being the high point), Mellencamp also does a nice job on the old country classic "The End Of The World." The band is playing loose and raw, which adds to the album overall.
While some my think Mellencamp is jumping on a bandwagon, it pays to recall that he's been driving this wagon since "The Lonesome Jubilee" explored Appalachian influences and "Big Daddy" was almost half a bare-bones folk album. The difference now is that Mellencamp is less afraid of the grit in the guitars than he used to be, which makes his growl in "John The Revelator" all the more appealing. The only misstep is the heavy handed protest-tune "To Washington," which aims its 2x4 at GWB (in 2003, I have to credit JM, this was not a warmly welcomed practice). But aside from that, "Trouble No More" holds up with Mellencamp's finer albums."