John Mellencamp: ...Performs Trouble No More

A bluesy Cougar looks back, live from 2003.

You can trust Louder Our experienced team has worked for some of the biggest brands in music. From testing headphones to reviewing albums, our experts aim to create reviews you can trust. Find out more about how we review.

Mellencamp’s original Trouble No More album, from 2003, found him journeying through America’s musical past, paying tribute to the (mainly) blues heroes that first inspired him. Here, a month after the record had been in the shops, he plays it in its entirety at New York’s Town Hall, the set bolstered by a handful of his own compositions.

Stripped down readings of Robert Johnson (Stones In My Passway), Willie Dixon (Down In The Bottom) and Son House (Death Letter) bring a pleasing authenticity, illustrating an innate understanding of the form, while a fiery version of Lucinda Williams’ Lafayette serves as a pointer to how blues music continued to thrive.

Mellencamp’s own rugged Pink Houses fits the template perfectly, as does another non-album cut, a rustic chug along Dylan’s Highway 61 Revisted. Ultimately, though, this collection might have made more sense as a bonus disc on a reissue of the first release.

Terry Staunton was a senior editor at NME for ten years before joined the founding editorial team of Uncut. Now freelance, specialising in music, film and television, his work has appeared in Classic Rock, The Times, Vox, Jack, Record Collector, Creem, The Village Voice, Hot Press, Sour Mash, Get Rhythm, Uncut DVD, When Saturday Comes, DVD World, Radio Times and on the website Music365.