The Bob Dylan Show Announces All-Star Roster for the 2009 Ballpark Tour
BOB DYLAN & HIS BAND, JOHN MELLENCAMP, WILLIE NELSON
(johnmellencamp.com)—Bob Dylan has just announced an ambitious lineup for this year’s summer concert tour. Along with fellow troubadour Willie Nelson, this summer, The Bob Dylan Show will also feature John Mellencamp, marking just the second time in the past 24 years that these three performers have shared the concert stage. Since first embarking on a tour of minor league baseball parks in 2004, over a half-million fans have come together to spend a night under the stars. With free admittance for children*, these tours draw a multi-generational fan base rarely seen on the concert circuit, causing one reporter to describe it as, “more like a backyard party than a rock concert.” The Boston Globe ranked the tour amongst “the most relaxed, enjoyable shows of the year. “You Can’t Beat Fun At The Old Ballpark,” came a headline from the Chicago Sun Times. Besides performing over 100 concerts each year for the past 15 years, Bob Dylan drops into millions of households each week with his highly popular satellite radio program Theme Time Radio Hour. In recent years, he has also received the big-screen treatment, courtesy of film director Martin Scorcese, with the critically acclaimed release of No Direction Home, the first feature-length film biography of Bob Dylan. Prior to that, he spent over 20 weeks on the New York Times best seller list with the publication of Chronicles: Volume One, the first in a series of the artist’s self-penned personal histories. In between these high-water marks, Bob has earned multiple Grammy Awards, an Academy Award, a Golden Globe and a Kennedy Center Honor (the highest honor of artistic achievement given in the United States). As a recording artist, he continues to hit the long ball. After debuting at #1 with his last record, Modern Times, Bob Dylan is about to release a brand new studio album on April 28 through Columbia Records. Entitled Together Through Life, it has already received 4-star reviews from MOJO, The London Telegraph and the New York Times. Over the course of a career that has spanned more than 30 years, John Mellencamp, consummate songwriter and performer, has released 23 albums with worldwide sales of over 40 million units while amassing 22 Top 40 hit songs. In 2008, the same year he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Life Death Love and Freedom, was issued which Rolling Stone called “one of the most compelling albums of Mellencamp’s career” and placed it among the top 5 albums of the year. Mellencamp's ties to Willie Nelson date back to 1985, the year they joined forces to mount the first Farm Aid benefit concert that also featured a stellar set from Bob Dylan. Mellencamp and Bob Dylan have been friendly for the past 25 years. Besides rallying his friends each year to support Farm Aid, Willie Nelson is quite possibly the most prolific recording artist in any genre of music. In the past five years alone he’s released no less than a dozen records, and when he’s not in the studio recording new albums, he fills time writing books, acting in feature films and generally keeping a pace unimaginable for someone half his age. It’s a wonder he even finds the time to tour.
Q: What are your feelings about the tour?
JM: I grew up listening to Bob Dylan and Willie Nelson! Their songs and records were in my house from when I was pre-teen. So I'm really proud and happy to be on tour with these two artists. Very few people get to grow up and go out and tour with guys they've admired for so long.
Q: What can you say about your part of the show?
JM: We're going out there with the full band and we'll be playing material from over the past 30 years--a combination of new and old material including songs from "Life Death Love and Freedom" and songs that haven't been recorded yet. We'll be playing for about 75 minutes each night.—To read more, click here.
Check out Mellencamp's new video for the single, "A Ride Back Home."