Another date has been formalized for the Summer Concert Series at the Ironstone Amphitheatre outside Murphys and John Mellancamp and Emmylou Harris are booked to perform on Saturday, June 17.

Mellencamp’s career in music spans more than 35 years. He has transitioned from pop star to one of the most highly respected singer-songwriters of a generation. He was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2008 and is a Grammy winner, a recipient of the John Steinbeck Award, the ASCAP Foundation’s Champion Award, the Woody Guthrie Award and the Americana Music Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award. More recently he received the Founders Award, the top honor assigned by the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP). He is also one of the most successful live acts in the world.

In 1985, Mellencamp teamed up with Willie Nelson and Neil Young to create Farm Aid. The social activism reflected in his songs helped catalyze Farm Aid the concert series and the organization, which has addressed the struggle of American family farmers for more than 25 years.

Mellencamp’s upcoming album “Sad Clowns & Hillbillies” also features Carlene Carter, who opens the June 17 show outside Murphys. Mellencamp’s 23rd album is due to be released April 21, and he says it’s a return to the musical eclecticism that’s a reflection of his wide-ranging musings on life. He’s considered by many to be a poet who has used the years between youth and the present to become a master of songwriting and interpretation.

Mellencamp also wrote the title song for the upcoming film “The Yellow Birds,” a war film directed by Alexandre Moors that’s based on the novel by Kevin Powers.

The unique instrumentation of Mellencamp’s band and his songs about everyday life in the American heartland are credited by many with being the forbearer of the Americana genre of rurally inflected music.

Thirteen-time Grammy winner and Billboard Century Award recipient Emmylou Harris’ contributions to music as a singer and songwriter spans 40 years. She has recorded more than 25 albums and has lent her talents to numerous artists’ recordings.

In recognition of her career, Harris was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2008. She is known as much for her straightforward songwriting as for her incomparably expressive singing. Admired through her career for her talent as an artist and song connoisseur, Harris shook up country radio in the 1970s and established herself as the premiere songwriter of a generation as she sold more than 15 million records and garnered 13 Grammy Awards; this year, she and Rodney Crowell won the Grammy for Best Americana album, three Country Music Association awards and two Americana Awards.

Harris has recorded with such diverse artists as Linda Ronstadt, Daniel Lanois, Bob Dylan, Mark Knopfler, Neil Young, Gram Parsons, Willie Nelson, Dolly Parton, Roy Orbison, Ryan Adams, Beck, Elvis Costello, Johnny Cash and Lyle Lovett, to name some.

Forty years into her career, Harris continues to share the hard-earned wisdom that comes with aging, though she hasn’t stopped looking ahead. The social activist has also lent her voice to many causes. She has performed at Lilith Fair helping promote feminism in music and has organized benefit tours to support the Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation. Harris also founded Bonaparte’s Retreat, a dog rescue organization.

Tickets for the show go on sale Friday at or call Ticketmaster at 800-745-3000.

Also on the series calendar at this point is an Aug. 13 show with the Steve Miller Band and Peter Frampton.


Comment Policy

Calaveras Enterprise does not actively monitor comments. However, staff does read through to assess reader interest. When abusive or foul language is used or directed toward other commenters, those comments will be deleted. If a commenter continues to use such language, that person will be blocked from commenting. We wish to foster a community of communication and a sharing of ideas, and we truly value readers' input.