Mellencamp ‘No Better Than This’ In 2011

The roots rocker expands his “No Better Than This Tour” with a load of fresh dates beginning in February 2011.

Billed as “an evening with,” the tour features John Mellencamp digging into his vast catalog of songs as well as tunes from his latest album called, appropriately enough, No Better Than This.

Each concert is divided into three segments with the first showcasing Mellencamp performing acoustically while the second features the singer / songwriter fronting a small combo. The third promises to be a party with Mellencamp backed by his full rock band.

The newly announced leg of the tour begins in Lowell, Mass., at the Memorial Auditorium Feb. 3. Next up is Waterbury, Conn., at the Palace Theatre Feb. 4 followed by Ottawa at the National Arts Centre Feb. 6 and Toronto at Massey Hall Feb. 9.

More U.S. dates follow, including stops in Washington D.C. at DAR Constitution Hall Feb. 15; New York’s Radio City Music Hall Feb. 18 and Philadelphia’s Academy Of Music Feb. 21. Other cities on the routing are Columbia, S.C., Atlanta, Durham, N.C., and Florida towns Fort Lauderdale, Clearwater and Jacksonville.

Even though it’s “an evening with,” there is an opening act of sorts, the film documentary “It’s About You,” shot on Super 8 film during Mellenamp’s 2009 tour of minor league baseball stadiums with Bob Dylan and Willie Nelson.

Produced by T Bone Burnett, No Better Than This sports a retro sound with Mellencamp recording the album in three historic locations in the American South – the First African Baptist Church in Savannah, Memphis’ Sun Studio and Room 414 of San Antonio’s Gunter Hotel where Robert Johnson recorded in 1936. Adding to the Americana vibe of the album, the sessions took place using one vintage microphone and were recorded on a 55-year-old mono tape recorder. Talk about getting back to basics.

However, the tickets / album combo being offered is strictly 21st with a digital download of the album bundled with purchases.

Photo: AP Photo
Farm Aid Concert, St. Louis, Mo.

Speaking of tickets, the onsales for the new dates begin Oct. 15. For more information, click here for the John Mellencamp website.