John Mellencamp is ready to rock again.
The Hoosier state icon will release "Plain Spoken," his 22nd album this fall as part of a new "lifetime" deal with Republic Records. It will be Mellencamp's first set of all-new material since the ambitious "No Better Than This" in 2010; during the interim he worked with Stephen King on the musical "Ghost Brothers of Darkland County," which debuted during April of 2012 in Atlanta and went on a regional U.S. tour in 2013.
In announcing the deal, Republic co-founder Monte Lipman said that, "Not only has (Mellencamp) served as an ambassador of social consciousness in America, but he has also provided the soundtrack of a generation. We're thrilled to be working with John Mellencamp as part of this historic deal."
No other details about "Plain Spoken" have been announced, though in December, Mellencamp said he had written 85 new songs. T Bone Burnett, who Mellencamp worked with on "No Better Than This" and "Ghost Brothers...," is presumed to be the producer of "Plain Spoken" as well.
Mellencamp has 10 summer concerts scheduled, beginning June 20-21 in Thackerville, Okla.