By Mabel Suen
By Cassie Kohler
By Evan C. Jones
By RFT Music
By RFT Music
By Tom Finkel
By Ryan Wasoba
By Roy Kasten
527 N. Grand Blvd.
St. Louis, MO 63103
Region: St. Louis - Grand Center
As his fantastic 2009 Farm Aid set proved, veteran rocker John Mellencamp hasn't mellowed with age. If anything, his heartland fire has cooled into a smoky, reflective slow burn. That's evident on this year's No Better Than This, a T Bone Burnett-produced collection influenced by folk, gospel and the blues. Authenticity is a hallmark of the album; Mellencamp recorded the album in mono, using just one microphone and a '50s-era Ampex portable recording device. The LP's back-story is just as integral to the experience: A documentary called It's About You — which follows the Coug's 2009 summer tour and Better's recording sessions from the perspective of photographer Kurt Markus — is being shown every night of this tour. After the film, Mellencamp fans can expect a long night of music, including two acoustic sets (one solo, one with a band) and a plugged-in performance.
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