New Mellencamp songs at Farm Aid
Full set list: Troubled Land - Rain On The Scarecrow - If I Die Sudden (with Derek Trucks) - Paper In Fire - Our Country (solo acoustic) - To Washington (solo acoustic) - Small Town - Pink Houses (with Susan Tedeschi).
A note about “Paper In Fire”: Miriam Sturm, John’s road and recording violist wasn’t in for the show so Andy York, John’s guitarist, rearranged it in such a manner that it seemed like a new, yet familiar, song to many. Mike Wanchic, John’s guitarist of more than 30 years, wasn’t in New York for Farm Aid, either. He was back home in Indiana with a new baby, just arrived. This, of course, put added focus on Andy who, it can now be told, accidentally gashed his left thumb in a household accident the previous night. His wound required seven stitches and it wasn’t clear that he would be able to play so Wanchic was put on stand-by to fly out (and back) to cover the show. As it happened, Andy was able to play as well as he ever does and he and the rest of the band -- John Gunnell (bass), Dane Clark (drums) and Troye Kinnett (keyboards) – seemed none the worse for wear. Andy, by the way is flying to Bloomington tomorrow to record some additional guitar parts for the new album which is still untitled with no release date.
After he came off stage, Mellencamp said that his Farm Aid performance gives some indication of the way he’s going as far as his forthcoming tour is concerned: some of the new or less-than-familiar material as well as the songs he’s best known for. John’s opener is Los Lobos on those dates so there are additional possibilities their presence might offer.
One last note: He’ll be back in NY on Oct. 18 when the Huntington’s Disease Foundation gives Joan Baez it’s 2007 Woody Guthrie Award at a dinner of which John is co-chair. He was a Woody Guthrie Award recipient in 2003 and, yes, “To Washington” is a re-write of a Guthrie song, which, in turn, is a rewrite of a Carter Family song, the origins of which go back to Charlie Poole & The North Carolina Ramblers and who knows where before that.