Penticton will play host to rock singer – songwriter John Mellencamp on June 14 at the South Okanagan Events Centre.
Penticton is the first date in Mellencamp’s No Better Than This Canadian tour. Mellencamp will be accompanied by the veteran Canadian alternative country / blues/ folk/ rock group Cowboy Junkies.
Mellencamp – known earlier in his career alternatively as John Cougar and John Cougar Mellencamp – has sold 40 million albums worldwide, amassing 22 top 40 hits through a career spanning four decades. His music was a mainstay of top 30 radio station airplay throughout the 1980’s, with a string of hits including the grammy winning Hurts So Good. Other well known hits from that era include Jack and Diane, Pink Houses, Authority Song, Small Town, R.O.C.K. in the U.S.A., and Paper in Fire.
Mellencamp’s 2012 Canadian tour headlines his latest album – No Better Than This – produced by T-Bone Burnett. The album was recorded in musically historic locations in Georgia, Tennessee and Texas. Using a 1955 Ampex recording machine and only one microphone, the album was recorded completely in mono, and has received critical acclaim since its release in 2010.
Mellencamp is known for his political activism, criticizing the Reagan and both Bush adminsistrations in addition to helping to organize the first Farm Aid benefit along with Willie Nelson and Neil Young in 1985. Farm aid concerts continue to raise money (39 million to date) for struggling family farmers.
Mellencamp’s career is multi-faceted; he has also achieved some aclaim as an artist and actor. Most recently, he has been collaborating with T-Bone Burnett and Stephen King to produce a musical called Ghost Brothers of Darkland County, with a three CD/book package scheduled for release on May 22 this year.
Mellencamp became divorced from his third wife, Elaine Irwin last year, and has since gone public with his relationship with actress Meg Ryan.
Mellencamp last appeared in the Okanagan in 2008,playing Kelowna’s Prospera Place with musical guest Tom Cochrane and Red Ryder.
The Cowboy Junkies have been veterans on the Canadian music scene since 1985. Nominated for group of the year at the 1990 and 1991 Juno Awards, the band is best known for hits Angel Mine, Anniversary Song and A Common Disaster.
Tickets for the Penticton performance began selling on March 30.They can be purchased online at www.ValleyFirstTix.com by telephone at 1-877-SOEC-TIX (763-2849) or in person at the SOEC box office and the Penticton and Wine Country Visitor Centre.