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The Crossing - January 2007 Edition

Lo and behold, 2007 is here and from the start, I’m gonna make a prediction: 2007 is gonna be a banner year for music releases. As the year
progresses, I think this is going to become pretty obvious. But, I won’t bore you with names of artists
that ‘may’ show up on the radar. Instead,
let’s see who has shown up already:

Not a bad way to start off the new year, than with a new release from the Heartland rocker himself, Mr. John Mellencamp. Out January 23rd is
“Freedom’s Road,” Mellencamp’s 17th album more or less...not including his very early stuff. You’ve probably already heard the first single
titled ‘Our Country’ from the Chevy truck commercial and from his performance at the World Series in Detroit. Probably the right tune for the
right time. A country seemingly so divided on so many issues needs a little reminder that we stand together. In the great tradition of songs like
Woody Guthrie’s ‘This Land is Your Land’ and Bruce Springsteen’s ‘The Rising’ before it. John Mellencamp’s music has always painted pictures and have given impressions. A look at what life is like in his home state of Indiana and the great Midwest of the United States. From song after
song like ‘Jack & Diane,’ ‘Pink Houses,’ ‘Small Town,’ ‘Rain on the Scarecrow’ to ‘Jackie Brown’ and ‘Lonely Ol’ Night’ and ‘Now More Than
Ever’, the songs are all portraits, each taken individually and collectively show a broad vista into life and how we live it. 35 of these songs alone are on the compilation “Words & Music” released in ‘04. Now, purportedly, a record exec talked John Mellencamp into doing another album
after John had gone into a hiatus of sorts since his last album “Trouble No More” back in 2003. That was an album of cover songs and
traditional tunes. This new album will be his first of all new originals since “Cuttin’ Heads” back in 2001. John Mellencamp has always been kind of an ‘everyman’ living in the shadows of the likes of Bruce Springsteen, but it may be just that he hit it big a few years after Springsteen. But
like Springsteen and Tom Petty and Billy Joel, Mellencamp has hit after hit song and all of his albums are pretty solid cut for cut, best enjoyed
listened to as a whole like so many of the greats. “Freedom’s Road” is already getting rave reviews. Check out this quote from Bill Lavery at
Village Records: 

“Too early for album of the year? I don't think so. This is the album that his entire career has been heading towards. A year in the making and completely shaped by the world we have found ourselves in. Everything that was hinted at on "Scarecrow" and "The Lonesome Jubilee" is
perfected here. The front porch, by way of the garage sounds that he is so good at are back. The recent elections were not an end to this long
struggle. They are a new beginning and this album can stand alongside of the best of Guthrie and Seeger when it comes to chronicling the path we're on and the road we've traveled.” 

That’s high praise! So, get ready for this and many more promising albums as 2007 progresses...

By the way, I didn’t catch anything that I missed in December so there’s nothing in the ‘recently released’ column. 

Let’s rumble...


    * Elvis Presley - “Essential Collection” (2 CD set.)
    * The Bridesmaid - DVD
    * Snakes On A Plane - DVD
    * Lunacy - DVD


    * Holmes Brothers - “State Of Grace”
    * Kenny Wayne Shepherd - "10 Days Out: Blues From the Backroad" (2 CD live set.)
    * Neko Case - “Live from Austin City Limits” 
    * Johnny Cash - “Live from Austin City Limits” 
    * Heather Greene - Five Dollar Dress”
    * Mercury Rev - “Back To Mine”
    * Genesis - “Definitive Collection” (2 CD set.)
    * Color Of The Cross - DVD
    * The Night Listener - DVD 
    * The Illusionist - DVD
    * Idiocracy - DVD  (Mike Judge’s follow-up to Office Space.)
    * Quinceanera - DVD
    * Street Fight - DVD
    * Crank - DVD


    * The Smithereens - “Meet The Smithereens: a Tribute to The Beatles” (Covering The Beatles’ entire first American release “Meet the                Beatles”.)
    * Erin McKeown - "Sing You Sinners"
    * Stacie Orrico - “Beautiful Awakening”
    * The Autumn Defense - “S/T”
    * Crowded House - “Farewell To The World” (2 CD/DVD live set.)
    * America - “Here and Now” (2 CD set; featuring quite a few guests.)
    * The Band - “Jubilation” (reissue.)
    * Diana Ross - “I Love You”
    * Yes - “Definitive Collection” (2 CD’s)
    * Roxette - “Collection” (new date.)
    * Various Artists - “Best of Hootenanny” (3 DVD set.)
    * The Guardian - DVD
    * School For Scoundrels - DVD


    * John Mellencamp - “Freedom’s Road”
    * Josh Ritter - “Live at the Record Exchange” (EP.)
    * Peter Rowan and Tony Rice - “Quartet”
    * John Hiatt - “Acoustic LP”
    * Kristin Hersh - “Learn to Sing Like a Star”
    * Bjork - “Drawing Restraint #9”
    * Moe - “The Conch”
    * The Good, The Bad & The Queen - “S/T”
    * Of Montreal - "Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer?"  
    * The Brokedown - "I Can't Go On, I'll Go On"
    * The Shins - "Wincing The Night Away"
    * Menomena - "Friend and Foe"
    * The Honeydogs - “Amygdala”
    * Skinny Puppy - “Mythmaker”
    * Deerhoof - "Friend Opportunity"
    * Field Music - “Tones Of Town” (import.)
    * Youth Group - “Casino Twilight Dogs”
    * The Resentments - “On My Way To See You”
    * Clinic - “Visitations”
    * Julie Doiron - “Woke Myself Up”
    * The Earlies - “The Enemy Chorus”
    * Jesse Sykes & The Sweet Hereafter - “Like, Love, Lust & the Open Halls of the Soul”
    * Saliva - “Blood Stained Love Story”
    * Atreyu - “Best of”
    * Echo & The Bunnymen - “Very Best of”
    * Faces - “Definitive Collection” (2 CD set.)
    * White Lion - “Definitive Collection” (2 CD set.)
    * This Film Is Not Yet Rated - DVD
    * Sherrybaby - DVD
    * Gridiron Gang - DVD


    * Phil Keaggy - “Dream Again”
    * Norah Jones - "Not Too Late"
    * Lily Allen - “Alright, Still”
    * Lisa Loeb & Elizabeth Mitchell - “Catch the Moon” (Children’s album.)
    * Daniel Powter - “Daniel Powter” (CD/DVD.)
    * Art Garfunkel - “Some Enchanted Evening”
    * Bill Kirchen - “Hammer of the Honky Tonk Gods”
    * Clap Your Hands Say Yeah - "Some Loud Thunder"
    * Katatonia - “The Great Cold Distance”
    * Various Artists - "Endless Highway: Music of the Band"
    * Evanescence - “After Midnight” (DVD.) 
    * Iron Maiden - “Death On The Road” (DVD.)
    * Open Season - DVD
    * Catch A Fire - DVD
    * Flyboys - DVD
    * The Gathering - DVD


    * Patty Griffin - “Children Running Through”
    * Over The Rhine - “Discount Fireworks: a Collection”
    * Apples In Stereo - “New Magnetic Wonder”
    * Fall Out Boy - “Infinity On High”
    * Sondre Lerche - “Phantom Punch”
    * Goldfrapp - “Ride A White Horse”
    * Jann Arden - “Uncover Me” (covers project.)
    * Belinda Carlisle - “Voila”
    * Stevie Nicks - “Best of” (New date.)
    * Nickelback - “All The Right Reasons” (CD/DVD.)
    * Hollywoodland - DVD
    * Trust The Man - DVD
    * Flicka - DVD


    * Lucinda Williams - “West”
    * Danny Vaughn - “Traveller”
    * The Departed - DVD
    * Marie Antoinette - DVD
    * Half Nelson - DVD
    * The U.S. vs. John Lennon - DVD
    * Zoom - DVD


    * Jesse Malin - “Glitter In The Gutter” (Guests include Bruce Springsteen, Ryan Adams and Jakob Dylan.)
    * Rosie Thomas - “TBA”
    * Kaiser Chiefs - “TBA” (import.) 
    * Peter Himmelman - “My Green Kite”
    * Tommy Womack - “There, I Said It”
    * The Frames - “The Cost”
    * Dolly Varden - “The Panic Bell”
    * The Silos - “Come On Like The Fast Lane”
    * Southern Culture On The Skids - “Countrypolitan Favorites”
    * Tommy Shaw & Jack Blades - “Influence” (Covers project.)
    * The Magic Numbers - “Those The Brokes”
    * Kittie - “Funeral For Yesterday”
    * Shut Up & Sing - DVD (Dixie Chicks documentary.)
    * The Prestige - DVD
    * For Your Consideration - DVD
    * Man Of The Year - DVD
    * Flushed Away - DVD


    * A Good Year - DVD
    * Tideland - DVD
    * Harsh Times - DVD

    * Son Volt - “The Search”
    * Mary Chapin Carpenter - “The Calling”
    * Lucy Kaplansky - “Over The Hills”
    * Over The Rhine - “Live from Nowhere, Vol. 2”
    * Bright Eyes - “Four Winds” (EP.)
    * Wheat - “Everyday I Said a Prayer...”
    * Wolf & Cub - “Vessels”
    * Sevendust - “Alpha”
    * The Fall - “Reformation Post T.L.C.” 
    * Ry Cooder - “My Name Is Buddy”
    * Air - “Pocket Symphony”
    * Greencards - “Viridian”
    * Guns N’ Roses - “Chinese Democracy” (penciled in here.)


    * The Arcade Fire - “Neon Bible” (penciled in here.)
    * The Innocence Mission - “We Walked In Song”
    * Good Charlotte - “Good Morning Revival”
    * Finger Eleven - “Them vs. You vs. Me”

    * The Stooges - “The Weirdness” (Iggy Pop & company’s first album in 33 years.)
    * Ted Leo & The Pharmacists - “Living With the Living”
    * Tracey Thorn - “Out of the Woods”
    * Willy Mason - “If the Ocean gets Rough”
    * The Roches - “Moonswept”
    * Bobby - DVD


    * Jack Ingram - “This Is It”
    * Grant-Lee Phillips - “Strangelet”


    * Fountains Of Wayne - “Traffic and Weather”


        Well I can stand beside
        Ideals I think are right
        And I can stand beside
        The idea to stand and fight
        I do believe
        There’s a dream for everyone
        This is our country

        There’s room enough here
        For science to live
        And there’s room enough here
        For religion to forgive
        And try to understand
        All the people of this land
        This is our country

        From the east coast
        To the west coast
        Down the Dixie Highway
        Back home
        This is our country

        That poverty could be
        Just another ugly thing
        And bigotry would be
        Seen only as obscene
        And the ones that run this land
        Help the poor and common man
        This is our country

        From the east coast
        To the west coast
        Down the Dixie Highway
        Back home
        This is our country

        The dream is still alive
        Some day it will come true
        And this country it belongs
        To folks like me and you
        So let the voice of freedom
        Sing out through this land
        This is our country

        From the east coast
        To the west coast
        Down the Dixie Highway
        Back home
        This is our country

        From the east coast
        To the west coast
        Down the Dixie Highway
        Back home
        This is our country.

        John Mellencamp, the song ‘Our Country’ off of the album Freedom’s Road.

        See you in February!

        Chris Barlow

        For more info on John Mellencamp, check out his official site here:


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