John Mellencamp Musical To Tour
‘Ghost Brothers of Darkland County,’ the Southern gothic musical with lyrics by Stephen King and music by John Mellencamp and T-Bone Burnett, will embark on a 20-city American tour beginning in October.
Mellencamp sparked the collaboration, which took place over a 13-year span, when he mentioned that a pair of brothers had met a grisly end in a cabin on his land. The first was accidentally killed as the two siblings battled over a girl, and the doomed couple then died not long after in a car accident. King quickly drew up an outline for a play, and work commenced from there in an off-and-on fashion.
“John can make rock ‘n’ roll records and I can write books for the rest of our lives,” King says in a news release. “But that’s the safe way to do it — and that’s no way to live if you want to stay creative. We were willing to be educated, and at our age, that’s an accomplishment.”
Set in the village of Lake Belle Reve, Miss., the ‘Ghost Brothers’ narrative fills in an imagined backstory even while new songs — performed by an ensemble cast of 15 actors and a live four-piece band — help frame their character’s emotions.
“This is a gothic story-driven rock concert,” director Susan Booth says. “I want the emphasis to be on this fantastic score and our great singers and how the story advances us from song to song. In most musicals, the songs advance the narrative. With ‘Ghost Brothers,’ the story will advance the songs.”
Tickets for the tour, which begins in Bloomington, Ind., go on sale Friday, May 17, at AEG Live. A studio release is also set for release via Hear Music and the Concord Music Group on June 4.
‘Ghostland Brothers’ Tour Dates
10 – Bloomington, Ind. – Indiana University Auditorium
11 – Louisville, Ky. – Whitney Hall
12 – Knoxville, Ky. – Knoxville Civic Auditorium
13 – Asheville, N.C. – Thomas Wolfe Auditorium
16 – Nashville, Tenn. – Ryman Auditorium
17 – Evansville, Ind. – Aiken Theatre at The Centre
18 – Indianapolis, Ind. – Clowes Memorial Hall
19 – Akron, Ohio – Akron Civic Theatre
22 – Columbus, Ohio- Palace Theatre
24 – Ft. Wayne, Ind. – Embassy Theatre
25 – Madison, Wisc. – Overture Hall
26 – Rockford, Ill. – Coronado Performing Arts Center
27 – Appleton, Wisc. – Fox Cities Performing Arts Center
29 – Milwaukee, Wisc. – Riverside Theatre
31 – Minneapolis, Minn. – State Theatre
1 – Sioux City, Iowa – Orpheum Theatre
2 – Ames, Iowa – Stephens Auditorium
3 – Davenport, Iowa – Adler Theatre
5 – South Bend, Ind. – Morris Performing Arts Center
6 – Grand Rapids, Mich. – DeVos Performance Hall