I see on John Mellencamp's Web site that the ex Mr. Cougar is headed out on the road this summer, and during the tour he's looking to get his bud and Fort Worth's own T Bone Burnett to produce a new record "as American folk as I've ever been," as Mellencamp puts it. Which isn't the part that got me interested. Says the site, Mellencamp hopes to record in "old hotels including the famed former Statler Hilton Hotel in Downtown Dallas, where legendary bluesman Robert Johnson recorded 13 blues songs during the summer of 1937."
But as we all know by now, Johnson didn't record at the Statler; rather, his sessions took place at nearby 508 Park Avenue. Mellencamp and his folks know it too. How do I know they know this? Trust me. I know they know. The heads-up continues:
John hopes to refocus attention on it and other such buildings within quick travel distance during his summer tour (another is the Gunter Hotel in San Antonio, where Johnson recorded "Sweet Home Chicago" and "Crossroad Blues"), bringing along 1950s recording equipment to get a vintage sound to go with the setting. Additionally, the sessions will be filmed by acclaimed photographer Kurt Marcus; background footage of the surrounding areas will also be shot and mixed in with material about the music and the summer tour itself. If things go according to plan, a Sundance-quality documentary will result.
Update: The official word from the Mellencamp camp is that the official Web site's announcement was "unofficial." In other words: He'd like to record at 508 Park Avenue, but nothing's been scheduled yet.
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Update to the Update: Mellencamp's Web site has replaced the Statler Hilton Hotel with 508 Park Avenue as the would-be site of his planned recording session this summer.