When we talked to former Mellencamp guitarist Larry Crane this summer (for an interview in Indianapolis’ NUVO) , he mentioned two things: the old Mellencamp band may be getting back together to record, and that he would be in Indiana later in the summer for a show. Well, it is now the final weekend of summer, and as promised, Crane has returned. He brings his heartland rock and roll to the stage at the Beech Grove Fall Festival Saturday night.
Crane was in Bloomington in June for an album release show at the Buskirk-Chumley Theatre, marking the Indiana debut for Tropical Depression, an album that sound familiar to those who kept up with him as he was banging around the clubs and theatres with his band in the early and mid 90’s, after his spilt from Mellencamp.
Now based in Florida, Crane’s quotes in the story garnered enough attention that Mellencamp’s management released a statement saying John was going to be busy with his No Better Than This album, and had no other plans. With the success of that album ( #1 for the fifth consecutive week on the Americana charts last week), he has his own tour lined up through the fall, including dates in Fort Wayne, South Bend, two shows in Indy, with a tour-opening two night stand at IU’s Memorial Auditorium on October 29 and 30. He’s garnering terrific press with the new record, and was was honored at Nashville’s Americana Music Awards last week and was given their Lifetime Achievement Award for Songwriting.
But that note from management never really said the musicians from John’s big pop/rock 80’s heydey (Kenny Aronoff, Toby Myers and Crane) wouldn’t be reuniting – just that there were no “plans”. I’d like to hear the old band again, so I take the statement as a positive sign.
Meantime, Larry and his band hit the stage (located at 8th and Main) with romping guitar and drums Midwest rock and roll at 9pm Saturday night in downtown Beech Grove. Added bonus: Indy’s Healing Sixes crank up their amps just before Crane, with a set from 7-8:30pm.