John Mellencamp's hometown of Bloomington, Ind., will play host to the rocker's first show on his upcoming "No Better Than This" tour.
The tour, which begins Oct. 29, 2010, is to support Mellencamp's Rounder Records debut, "No Better Than This," which is slated for release Aug. 17, 2010. The album was produced by T-Bone Burnett, and it was recorded in three historical locations in the American South: Savannah, Ga.'s, First African Baptist Church, Sun Studio in Memphis, Tenn., and Room 414 of San Antonio, Texas', Gunter Hotel, where Robert Johnson recorded in 1936.
The tour, which is designed as an "evening with" event, brings Mellencamp's music to theater-sized venues. Following the album's lead, the concerts are formatted into three segments: acoustic, a small combo and a full rock band. Backing musicians include Michael Wanchic (guitar), Andy York (guitar), Miriam Sturm (violin), John Gunnell (electric and upright bass), Dane Clark (drums) and Troye Kinnett (accordion/keyboards).
"I'm very excited to have the oportunity at this time in my life to go on tour and present these songs in this manner," Mellencamp said.
The tour's "opening act" is Kurt Marcus' documentary film, "It's About You." Shot on Super8 film over the course of 2009's Bob Dylan-John Mellencamp-Willie nelson tour of minor league baseball stadiums, it chronicles the creation of "No Better Than This."
Confirmed initial tour dates, cities and venues are:
Oct. 29, 2010: Bloomington, Ind., Indiana University Auditorium
Nov. 1: Cincinnati, Music Hall
Nov. 3: Nashville, Tenn., Ryman Auditorium
Nov. 5: Kansas City, Mo., The Midland by AMC
Nov. 6: St. Louis, Fabulous Fox Theater
Nov. 8: Indianapolis, Hinke Fieldhouse
Nov. 13: South Bend, Ind., Morris Performing Arts Center
Nov. 16: Fort Wayne, Ind., Embassy Theatre
Nov. 17: Cleveland, Palace Theatre
Nov. 19: Detroit, Fox Theatre
Nov. 20: Pittsburgh, Heinz Hall
Nov. 22-23: Minneapolis, Orpehum Theatre
Nov. 26-27: Chicago, Chicago Theatre.
Mellencamp has enjoyed a music career that has spanned more than 35 years, during which time he transitioned from a pre-fab pop idol to a highly regarded songwriter of a generation. He's released 26 albums, been nominated for 13 Grammys, received numerous awards and has been inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame.