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Mellencamp to offer three part performance at The Morris

Mac Hendrickson | Tuesday, November 9, 2010

This Saturday, John Mellencamp brings his “No Better Than This” tour to the Morris Performance Arts Center. Mellencamp, an Indiana native, has experienced a musically diverse career full of artistic redirection and reinvention. His sound has appealed to many audiences, from when he first began to today, 35 years later. This show, consisting of three parts, reflects Mellencamp’s different achievements and levels of artistry.

The first segment is a documentary film “It’s About You”, shot on Super-8 film by acclaimed photographer Kurt Markus. It documents Mellencamp’s recent tour with Bob Dylan as well as the creation of the album “No Better Than This”. The album was recorded at three legendary studios: Sun Studios (which some call the birthplace of rock and roll), Room 414 of San Antonio’s Gunter Hotel (where infamous bluesman Robert Johnson recorded in the 1930’s), and Savannah’s First African Baptist Church (an historic site during the Civil War and the Civil Rights Movement). The documentary has been praised for its artistic glance both at Mellencamp as an American musician and American culture in general at the start of the 21st century.

The second segment is a solo acoustic set featuring Mellencamp’s recent folk work. The third is a full band set, reflecting Mellencamp’s earlier rock and roll mastery.

Mellencamp began his career as pop idol John Cougar Mellencamp, with hits such as “Hurts So Good” and “Jack and Diane.” After early mainstream success, Mellencamp developed into a mature American songwriter, demonstrating mastery of heartland rock and organic instrumentation.

Morris Performing Arts Center, which was first built as a Vaudeville performance center in the 1920’s, is known for its intimate setting, built for and maintained to generate the best musical atmosphere. Seating only 2,500 people, the concert hall offers an intimate experience with Mellencamp and his music, both for fans of his older rock hits and fans of his new folk sound.