The Lonesome Jubilee [Bonus Track]

The Lonesome Jubilee [Bonus Track]

by John MellencampJohn Cougar Mellencamp

CD(Bonus Tracks / Repackaged)

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Lonesome Jubilee was the only step John Mellencamp could take after Scarecrow. On the former album he had developed a new standard for heartland rock without expanding its sound much; it had acoustic undertones but was largely urban music fueled by R&B. Mellencamp expanded his band on the latter recording, adding Lisa Germano's violin to the mix, and a boatload of acoustic instruments -- from autoharp, accordion, penny whistle, claves, mandolins, banjos and hammer dulcimer -- as well as lap and pedal steel. His songwriting, too, delved deeper into folk styles, along with his own re-visioning of North Appalachian country. The result is a deeply textured, resonant, multi-dimensional and very dynamic rock & roll sound. Mellencamp's songwriting was also inspired, and moved another notch or two from the leaner, more poetic style he displayed on much of Scarecrow. Though often somber, his lyrics reflect an engagement with the subtleties of everyday life and its joys, disappointments, and sufferings. The pastoral meets the gritty reality of city and suburbs on tracks like "Empty Hands" and "Down and Out in Paradise," The rollicking opener, "Paper in Fire," is fueled by Germano's fiery fiddle and Larry Crane's banjo and dobro playing. The R&B doesn't totally disappear, as Crystal Taliefero's scorching backing vocal attests, lifting Mellencamp's refrain to a frenzied height. It's one of the finest rock & roll songs he's authored, and its blend of instruments and textures has often been imitated, but never equaled. The biggest hit from the album is the infectious and utterly irrepressible "Cherry Bomb." A nostalgic paean to the innocence and folly of youth, its squeezebox and fiddle shuffling along on top of Kenny Aronoff's clipped, crisp snare is pure finger-popping joy. Mellencamp's words are to the point; they never drip idle sentimentality, and they offer sharp portraits of the past as a way of accepting the present. As a songwriter, one of Mellencamp's greatest gifts is to inspire his listeners through portrayals of the experiential wisdom of everyday life. Tracks like "Real Life," "We the People," and "Check It Out" do just that. The medium -- acoustic-based rock & roll lengthened to include the earthy, rural roots musics -- multiplies the empathy in his words. Combine them with undeniable hooks, and what comes out of the box is not only memorable, but seemingly timeless in its appeal. And Lonesome Jubilee, more than any album in Mellencamp's catalog, is just that: timeless. It is a work of popular art that reflects upon and celebrates the complexities and shared common experiences of life in America. This is ambitious rock & roll that communicates its intent effortlessly, soulfully, and viscerally. [Lonesome Jubilee was remastered for CD in 2005 and includes a bonus track form the session called "Blues From the Front Porch," driven by Crane's National Steel acoustic with urgent vocals by Taliefero and Pat Peterson.]

Product Details

Release Date: 05/24/2005
Label: Mercury
UPC: 0602498812402
catalogNumber: 000451302
Rank: 22449

Album Credits

Performance Credits

John Mellencamp   Primary Artist,Vocals
Lisa Germano   Fiddle,Violin,Band
Kenny Aronoff   Conga,Drums,Tambourine,Background Vocals,Band,Vibes,Hammered Dulcimer
John Cascella   Accordion,Keyboards,Saxophone,Melodica,Band,Claves,Penny Whistle,farfisa organ,Hammond B3
Larry Crane   Acoustic Guitar,Banjo,Harmonica,Mandolin,Pedal Steel Guitar,Autoharp,Electric Guitar,Background Vocals,Band,Lap Steel Guitar
Toby Myers   Banjo,Bass Guitar,Vocals,Background Vocals,Band
Pat Peterson   Tambourine,Vocals,Background Vocals,Band,cowbell
Crystal Taliefero   Vocals,Background Vocals,Band
Mike Wanchic   Dulcimer,Acoustic Guitar,Banjo,Dobro,Electric Guitar,Background Vocals,Band

Technical Credits

Don Gehman   Producer,Engineer,Audio Production
George Green   Composer
David Leonard   Engineer
John Mellencamp   Composer,Producer,Audio Production
George Corsillo   Art Direction
Ross Alexander   Engineer
Ryan Null   Photo Coordination

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