John Mellencamp Announces New Studio Album And Releases First Track

“Other People’s Stuff” features covers mostly drawing from Great American Songbook

This is exciting news, at least from my perspective – John Mellencamp, one of my favorite artists for more than 30 years, has announced his 24th studio album, Other People’s Stuff, which is scheduled for release on December 7th. The collection features ten covers “culled from seminal albums, compilations, unearthed sessions and documentaries.” The announcement coincided with the release of the first track from the album, Eyes On The Prize.

Mellencamp originally performed Eyes On The Prize, a traditional, during a 2010 Celebration of Music from the Civil Rights Movement event at The White House. The nice bluesy tune is delivered with Mellencamp’s rough voice he has developed over the decades – undoubtedly in good part a result of his chain-smoking habit. BTW, that hot slide guitar is played by roots and country blues artist The Reverend J. Peyton. Check it out!

Here’s a clip of Mellencamp’s original performance at the above The White House event. Looking at the current situation of the country, it’s hard to believe how different times were back then.

“Most, if not all, of the songs on Other People’s Stuff come from The Great American Songbook,” Mellencamp commented. “These are songs that have been recorded over the last 40 years of my career, but had never been put together as one piece of work. Now, they have.”

Here is the track list of the album, which appears on Public Records:

1. “To The River” (originally from 1993’s Human Wheels)
2. “Gambling Bar Room Blues” (originally from 1997’s The Songs of Jimmie Rodgers – A Tribute)
3. “Teardrops Will Fall” (originally from 2003’s Trouble No More)
4. “In My Time of Dying” (originally from 1997’s Rough Harvest)
5. “Mobile Blue” (originally from 2017’s Sad Clowns & Hillbillies)
6. “Eyes on the Prize” (originally performed at The White House in 2010)
7. “Dark As A Dungeon (originally from the 2017 National Geographic Channel documentary From the Ashes)
8. “Stones in My Passway” (originally from 2003’s Trouble No More)
9. “Wreck of the Old 97” (originally from 2004’s The Rose and The Briar)
10. “I Don’t Know Why I Love You” (originally from 2003’s An Interpretation of Stevie Wonder’s Songs)

John Mellencamp will support the album with a 2019 tour. The John Mellencamp Show,  which currently has 40 dates, will kick off on February 7 in South Bend, Ind. The last scheduled gig at this time is in Albuquerque, N.M. at the end of April. Some of the other dates include Cincinnati (Feb 10), Baltimore, Md. (Feb 20), New York (Feb 25, 26 & 27), Kansas City, Mo. (Mar 14), Orlando, Fla. (Mar 24), Wichita, Kan. (Apr 16) and Portland, Ore. (Apr 23).

The concerts in New York are at the beautiful The Beacon Theatre and surely would be a great treat. But Mellencamp is going to be even closer to my house at New Jersey State Theatre in New Brunswick, N.J. (Feb 23), which is also a lovely venue – very tempting!

Sources: John Mellencamp website; YouTube

9 thoughts on “John Mellencamp Announces New Studio Album And Releases First Track”

  1. Geez, what happened to his voice? Must be a heavy smoker as you indicate. Mellencamp is a guy who I sometimes enjoy when I hear him on the radio, sometimes not. I like him but I’m not a big fan. Nice to hear him do some roots stuff, though.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If you look at his more recent albums, he’s pretty much transformed from straight rock like “Hurts So Good” and “Jack And Diane” to stripped back roots-oriented music.

      He actually told a TV journalist he loved his voice since it sounded like a Black guy, and pretty much admitted that’s a motivation for him not to stop smoking. He also has the strange theory that as long as you don’t combine heavy smoking with heavy drinking, you’re somehow gonna be okay.

      Let’s just say I really dig Mellencamp for his music, not necessarily for some of his peculiar theories!😀


      1. I’ve never understood the desire to sound Black, either in singing or playing. To me it’s just some misguided idea that you can only have soul or feeling if you’re black and all white performers are pablum. Utter nonsense.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. As much as I like John Mellencamp, I have to agree with you 100%.

        To start with, I don’t think his voice sounds particularly Black; if anything, it reminds more more of Tom Waits after he cleared his throat!

        Plus, while I admire many Black artists for their vocal abilities, I agree that at the end of the day it’s about soul and authenticity, and whether you have these things or not doesn’t depend on whether you are Black or White.


  2. I’ll keep an eye out for this. I like his music and his later output is great. The live cut above smokes. Dave Alvin did a an album ‘Public Domain’ and Greg Brown did one called ‘Honey In The Lions Head’. Same idea and I dig them. John is going in the same direction as these guys and I love it. Won’t make the same dough but he probably has enough.


  3. Used to love him back in college – Scarecrow and Lonesome Jubilee were great albums. Have to admit haven’t really paid much attention to him since Human Wheels – should try to catch up on his ore recent stuff. Am also tempted to try to see him in Baltimore when he comes in Feb. Feel like should see these guys when we can – I passed on Petty last time he was in area and now really regret it

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yep, when it comes to “aging” rockers you like, you should see them when you get a chance.

      Mellencamp’s style and voice have significantly changed since the ‘80s but I still dig him. I went to see him in Philly last year, together with Carlene Carter and Emmylou Harris – fantastic show!

      Liked by 1 person

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