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John Mellencamp On World Cafe

John Mellencamp.
John Mellencamp.

In the 1980s, singer-songwriter John Mellencamp was known for huge heartland rock hits like "Jack & Diane," "Small Town" and "Pink Houses." Now, he tells World Cafe host David Dye, "It would be ridiculous for me to try to act like a 27-year-old guy at my age. ... I just can't play 'Hurts So Good.' I just can't do it."

Mellencamp says he wants to write and play music that reflects his age. Still, the title of his new album, Plain Spoken, describes Mellencamp's music throughout his career: direct, no-frills expression.

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