He may have dropped the ‘Cougar’ from his name, but contrary to popular belief, John Mellencamp has not dropped off the face of the earth. Granted, he hasn’t exactly been a dominant presence in music lately, but let’s give the guy a break—he did create the killer song “Jack and Diane,” long before Jessica Simpson came around and bastardized it.

The Indiana native is back in the headlines because of his new CD titled Freedom Road. The 10-track set is coming out on Jan. 23 via UMe/Universal Republic, and as he told Billboard, "It sounds very 1966, but it sounds now…We did everything we could from that era." To prove it, he even sings a duet with Joan Baez titled “Jim Crow.”

This is his first album of original material since 2001’s Cutting Heads; in 2003, he released a series of bluesy covers called Trouble No More. His brand-spankin’-new single “Our Country” can currently be heard in, of all things, a Chevrolet commercial.

Here is the track listing for Freedom Road:
"Ghost Towns Along the Highway"
"The Americans"
"Freedom’s Road"
"Jim Crow"
"Our Country"
"Rural Route"
"My Aeroplane"
"Heaven Is a Lonely Place"

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