Trouble No More

Beneath the heartland-rock veneer, John Mellencamp has always displayed the tormented soul of a bluesman, so it's not surprising to hear him tunneling in the direction of the Mississippi Delta on Trouble No More. Mellencamp and band sound right at home with hellhound-on-my-trail tracks such as Robert Johnson's "Stones in My Passway," Son House's "Death Letter" and Memphis Minnie's "Joliet Bound." Mellencamp injects real grit into his readings of their old blues and string-band tunes. Some of his feistiest singing yet can be heard on "(Meet Me) Down in the Bottom," a rollin'-and-tumblin' Willie Dixon tune. Andy York plays fine bottleneck guitar throughout Trouble No More, and here's the real surprise: This album doesn't sound that distant from the grass-roots rock of Mellencamp albums such as Scarecrow and The Lonesome Jubilee.