John Mellencamp with Special Guest Carlene Carter
John Mellencamp’s career in music, spanning more than 35 years has seen him transition from pop star to one of the most highly regarded songwriters of a generation.
Mellencamp fell in love with music at an early age, fronting a soul band in his native Indiana at age 14. He went on to release 26 albums with domestic sales exceeding 40 million units and amassed 22 Top 40 hits. A Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, he has been nominated for 13 Grammys, was recipient of Billboard’s Century Award, ASCAP Foundation’s Champion Award, The Woody Guthrie Award, Q’s Classic Songwriter Award, Americana Music Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award and, most recently, the John Steinbeck Award.
The social activism reflected in his songs helped catalyze Farm Aid, the concert series and organization that has addressed the struggle of American family farmers for more than 25 years. The unique instrumentation of his band and overall approach is widely credited with being the forbear of the Americana/No Depression genre of rural-inflected music.
His theatrical collaboration with Stephen King, Ghost Brothers of Darkland County, debuted at Atlanta’s Alliance Theatre and went on to tour numerous cities earlier this year. An accomplished painter, Mellencamp’s work was the focus of an exhibition at the Butler Institute of American Art in Youngstown, OH in 2013 and 2014.