JOHN MELLENCAMP RELEASES “DARK AS A DUNGEON” COVER IN SUPPORT OF NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC DOCUMENTARY “FROM THE ASHES”
“FROM THE ASHES” AVAILABLE FOR FREE ONLINE UNTIL JULY 3rd
(New York, NY June 30th, 2017) - Today, John Mellencamp journeys into the darkness of coal mining life in his reverent cover of Merle Travis' 1946 song "Dark as a Dungeon," recorded in support of National Geographic's acclaimed documentary about the mining industry, “From The Ashes.” See link to the song here and official music video featuring Mellencamp here.
"From the Ashes,” an official selection at the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival, explores the legacy and future of the U.S. coal industry. The film premiered June 25th on National Geographic. The film will be available commercial-free and unauthenticated via YouTube, Facebook, Hulu, Amazon, Google Play and VOD and unauthenticated on Natgeotv.com and Nat Geo TV Apps (iOS and Android devices, Apple TV, Roku and Samsung Connected TVs). See a link to the full-length film here.
Throughout the folk tune – which Johnny Cash popularized on his iconic 1968 live album, At Folsom Prison – Mellencamp strums an acoustic guitar and sings in his signature baritone, "It's dark as a dungeon and damp as the dew, where danger is double and pleasures are few," backed by an accordion and tambourine tap. "Where the rain never falls and the sun never shines/ And it's dark as a dungeon way down in the mines."
In 1946, singer-songwriter Merle Travis wrote “Dark as a Dungeon” to describe the harsh and dangerous conditions that coal miners experienced every day. John Mellencamp recorded a special version of the song in support of the From the Ashes, a new documentary presented by National Geographic Documentary Films about the legacy and future of the coal industry in the U.S. To learn more about the film and how you can support coal dependent communities visit www.fromtheashesfilm.com
Mellencamp released his 23rd studio album, Sad Clowns & Hillbillies in April which debuted at #1 on the Billboard Top Americana/Folk Albums Chart, #3 on Top Rock Albums Chart and #5 on the Top Albums Chart. Don’t miss John Mellencamp on tour this summer as he heads to 22 stops across North America for his all-new Sad Clowns & Hillbillies tour kicking off on June 5th in Denver, Colorado with special guests, Emmylou Harris, tour-mate Carlene Carter and Lily & Madeleine. See the full tour itinerary and purchase tickets here.
On The CrowdRise Campaign: America’s transition away from coal and towards cleaner energy is bringing health and economic benefits to communities across the country, with nearly 350,000 Americans working in the solar and wind industries alone. And while new jobs in clean energy are dispersed around the country, coal-dependent regions face acute job losses that harm families and depress local economies as the industry shrinks. Rather than relying on empty promises from Washington, communities are coming together to create new jobs and a sustainable future that does not rely on coal. Let’s help coal communities as America makes the transition to cleaner energy.
Join Bloomberg Philanthropies in supporting organizations working with communities and workers left behind by the coal industry to create local solutions to economic diversification. Local organizations creating diverse, resilient and sustainable economies in coal regions deserve your support. When you make a donation on CrowdRise to Coalfield Development Corporation, the Just Transition Fund, and the Western Organization of Resource Councils, Bloomberg Philanthropies will match a portion of the donation and cover all transaction fees.
Check out “Dark as a Dungeon” Here
About John Mellencamp
John Mellencamp’s career in music, spanning more than 35 years, has seen him transition from pop star to one of the most highly respected singer/songwriters of a generation. Mellencamp is incredibly acclaimed; he is a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, a Grammy winner, a recipient of the John Steinbeck Award, ASCAP Foundation’s Champion Award, The Woody Guthrie Award and Americana Music Association's Lifetime Achievement Award and more recently, the Founders Award, the top honor assigned by the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers. He is also one of the most successful live concert performers in the world. In 1985, Mellencamp, together with Willie Nelson and Neil Young, created Farm Aid. The social activism reflected in his songs helped catalyze Farm Aid, the concert series and organization that has addressed the struggle of American family farmers for more than 25 years. John also wrote the title song for the upcoming film, The Yellow Birds, an American war film directed by Alexandre Moors and based on the novel The Yellow Birds by Kevin Powers. The film stars Tye Sheridan, Jack Huston, Alden Ehrenreich, Jennifer Aniston, and Toni Collette. John continues to focus on another facet of his artistic expression: painting. His style has progressed over the years as evidenced by several gallery shows and published portfolios, and in recent years he has increased his output by completing over 100 new works. His pieces were shown in 2012 at the Tennessee State Museum in Nashville under the title “Nothing Like I Planned: The Art Of John Mellencamp” and, more recently at the Butler Institute of American Art in an exhibition entitled “The Paintings Of John Mellencamp.” “The Paintings of John Mellencamp” traveled to the Museum of Art-DeLand, Florida and John’s art was showcased at the ACA Gallery in New York. The unique instrumentation of his band and his poignant songs about everyday life in the American heartland, are widely credited with being the forbearer of the Americana/No Depression genre of rural-inflected music. An extraordinary collaboration performed by an ensemble cast of 15 actors and a four-piece live band, comprised of members of John Mellencamp’s band is The Ghost Brothers of Darkland County, a musical with music and lyrics by John Mellencamp, a libretto by author Stephen King and production by T Bone Burnett. The show is being further developed in London, though King and Mellencamp are no longer as actively involved. Mellencamp continues his journey as the walking embodiment of heartland rock; passionate, plain-spoken, and a self-proclaimed rebel. John Mellencamp continues to live and work in Bloomington, Indiana.
Check out Sad Clowns and Hillbillies Here: https://republic.lnk.to/SadClownsHillbilliesPR
Listen to “Grandview” featuring Martina McBride Here: https://republic.lnk.to/MellencampGrandviewPR
For John Mellencamp:
Claire Mercuri PR
Taylor Vaughn // Republic Records
Beau Benton // Republic Records
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