John Mellencamp, previously known as Johnny Cougar, John Cougar and John Cougar Mellencamp (seen in this video herewith) is an American musician, singer-songwriter, painter and actor….who is known for his catchy, populist brand of heartland rock….which emphasizes traditional instrumentation. Mellencamp rose to fame in the decade of the 1980’s….while “honing an almost startlingly plainspoken writing style” that, starting in 1982, yielded a string of Top 10 singles….which included “Hurts So Good,” “Jack & Diane,” “Crumblin’ Down,” “Pink Houses,” “Lonely Ol’ Night,” “Small Town,” “R.O.C.K. in the U.S.A.,” “Paper in Fire,” and “Cherry Bomb”….while amassing 22 Top 40 hits in the United States….in addition to holding the record for the most tracks by a solo artist to hit # 1 on the Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks chart, with seven. Mellencamp has been nominated for 13 Grammy Awards, winning one. His latest album of original songs, Sad Clowns & Hillbillies, was released on April 28, 2017 to widespread critical acclaim
John Mellencamp is arguably the most important roots rocker of his generation by making fiddles, hammer dulcimers, autoharps and accordions into lead rock instruments on a par with the electric guitar, bass and drums. Mellencamp’s best music is rock ‘n roll stripped of all escapism….as it looks directly at the messiness of life as it’s actually lived. This is rock music that tells the truth on both its composer and the culture he’s observing….and “Ain’t That America” provides ample evidence to those assessments.