is putting the finishing touches on "Freedom's Road," the new album that includes the current single "Our Country." To be released worldwide on January 23 through UMe/Universal Republic, "Freedom's Road" is the first album of all new John Mellencamp songs in more than five years.
"Freedom's Road," the culmination of a year's worth of composing, arranging, recording and mixing, is a collection of songs that reflect the climate and concerns of present day America. The recording process began early last spring when Mellencamp's band members gathered at Belmont Mall, the studio located near his home in Bloomington, IN. The group, with Mellencamp producing, actually recorded the album in the garage/rehearsal room that adjoins the studio. Post-production and mixing moved inside the facility earlier this fall.
Lyrically, the album is not overtly political but offers an insightful, plain-spoken perspective on contemporary conditions. The lyrics, contemplative and hopeful, are set off by the garage-born organic sound of Mellencamp and his band. Band members participating in the sessions for "Freedom's Road" included Mike Wanchic (guitar, vocals), Andy York (guitar, vocals, flute-a-phone), Miriam Sturm (violin), John Gunnell (bass), Dane Clark (drums), and Troye Kinnett (keyboards).
Additional backing vocals were provided by Little Big Town
, the hit country vocal group that had toured with Mellencamp in early 2005 when he first started performing "Our Country" in concert. Also of note is the fact that Joan Baez
duets with Mellencamp on "Jim Crow." The album's tone and themes are underscored by such Mellencamp-penned originals as "Ghost Towns Along The Highway," "Rural Route," and "The Americans." Of the album's title track, Mellencamp notes, "'Freedom's Road' is a promise that you have to go though hell to redeem."
UMe/Universal Republic is supporting the release of the album with a broad-based retail, radio and new media campaign designed to highlight the album's release to both long-term Mellencamp fans and new adherents. Mellencamp plans to tour in support of "Freedom's Road" after its release with the marketing effort on behalf of "Freedom's Road" continuing in support.
Freedom's Road Track listing:
GHOST TOWNS ALONG THE HIGHWAY
HEAVEN IS A LONELY PLACE