Friday, August 13, 2010

John Mellencamp Debuts New Album on Tavis Smiley

Iconic rocker John Mellencamp debuts new album on 'Tavis Smiley' in exclusive week of performances

Beginning Monday, Aug 16, rock legend John Mellencamp will perform each night for a week on PBS’ “Tavis Smiley,” sharing an exclusive preview of his new album No Better Than This with “Smiley” viewers. Mellencamp will also sit down with fellow Hoosier Tavis to explain his musical journey and why he decided to emphasize traditional American folk, country and blues on the album. Check your local listings for air times.

In a Tavis Smiley “first” from Aug 16 – 20, 2010, Mellencamp will close each show with a new song.

Mellencamp is currently on a 12-city, limited engagement tour to promote his most recent album, and “Smiley” viewers will have a rare opportunity to witness live performances of tracks from the album. The official first leg of the “No Better Than This” tour will kick off at Indiana University , Smiley’s alma mater, October 29, 2010.

No Better Than This will be released on Tuesday, Aug. 17 and early reviews have been positive. Rolling Stone says: “It’s musical storytelling for hard times: far-fetched, violent, sexy, played for laughs. Mellencamp has never sounded looser or easier on a record. It doesn’t get more timeless, or American, than that.”

The album was recorded on vintage equipment – a 55 year-old Ampex tape recorder with just one microphone — in Savannah at the First African Baptist Church, in Memphis at Sun Studios, and in San Antonio in room 414 of the Gunter Hotel.

About John Mellencamp

John Mellencamp is a Grammy Award-winning American rock singer-songwriter, musician, painter and occasional actor known for his catchy, populist brand of heartland rock. He is slated to receive a lifetime achievement award from the Americana Music Association this fall and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2008. Over the span of his career Mellencamp has sold over 40 million albums worldwide and has amassed 22 Top 40 hits in the United States . He also holds the record for the most tracks by a solo artist to hit number-one on the Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks chart. Mellencamp is one of the founding members of Farm Aid, an organization designed to raise awareness about the loss of family farms and to raise funds to keep farm families on their land. Farm Aid celebrates its 25th anniversary this year. Mellencamp lives in Indiana with his family.


TAVIS SMILEY is a unique hybrid of news, issues and entertainment, featuring interviews with politicians, entertainers, athletes, authors and other newsmakers. In 2009, Tavis Smiley was named to TIME’s list of 100 “Most Influential People in the World.”

TAVIS SMILEY is produced by The Smiley Group, Inc. / TS Media, Inc. in association with KCET/ Los Angeles . Major funding is provided by Walmart and Nationwide Insurance. Additional support comes from PBS and a one-time seed grant from the National Black Programming Consortium.

The 30-minute program airs weeknights on PBS. To get local listings and to watch past episodes, please visit

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