In an age of auto-tuned computerized recordings John Mellencamp's approach on his Rounder debut No Better Than This is refreshing. The entire album was recorded with Mellencamp and his band all playing live in one room using a 55 year-old Ampex tape recorder and just one vintage microphone. Legendary producer T Bone Burnett captured the stunning thirteen new Mellencamp originals at three historically important locations: Sun Studio in Memphis TN (where Elvis Presley Johnny Cash and Jerry Lee Lewis all first recorded); the First African Baptist Church in Savannah GA (the oldest Black church in North America dating to 1775); and in Room 414 of the Gunter Hotel in San Antonio TX (where Robert Johnson made his first recordings in 1936). The songs on No Better Than This reflect classic American musical traditions including blues folk gospel rockabilly and country while addressing such themes as the need for hope the nature of relationships and narratives that recount extraordinary occurrences in everyday life. Mellencamp says of the album "It was absolutely the most fun I've ever had making a record in my life. It was about making music - organic music made by real musicians - that's heartfelt and written from the best place it can come from."
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