Legendary singer-songwriter John Mellencamp is about to join Bruce Springsteen, Jackson Browne and Joan Baez as a select group of musicians to receive The John Steinbeck Award from The Center for Steinbeck Studies at San Jose State University.

The award will be presented by Thomas Steinbeck (son of John) on Monday July 30 at the California Theater in San Jose. The award is given to politically progressive figures; other past recipients have included Garrison Keillor, Sean Penn and Rachel Maddow.

John Mellencamp commented, “John Steinbeck’s remarkable ability to give voice to the common man and to people on society’s margins, to describe their plight and aspirations, continues to inspire us more than a century after his birth. I’m very honored to be the recipient of an award given in his name.”

In other Mellencamp news, he has a new documentary film out, It’s About You, which chronicles the recording of his 2009 album No Better Than This, recorded at a number of historical landmarks, including Sun Studios in Memphis. It also includes live footage from his tour with Bob Dylan and Willie Nelson.

Mellencamp is about to kick off a Canadian tour, with Canada’s Cowboy Junkies opening.

— Brian Ives, CBS Local


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