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John Mellencamp, James Taylor schedule Duluth concerts

John Mellencamp performs during Farm Aid 30 at the FirstMerit Bank Pavilion on Northerly Island in Chicago on Saturday, Sept. 19, 2015. (Armando L. Sanchez/Chicago Tribune/TNS)

Forum News Service

Two Grammy Award-winning musicians with distinct vocal stylings will perform in Duluth later this year, according to the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center.

John Mellencamp’s “Plain Spoken Tour” will make a stop April 7 at Symphony Hall; tickets go on sale Friday. James Taylor and his All-Star Band play June 1 at Amsoil Arena; tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. Feb. 5. Both will be available at Ticketmaster locations including the DECC box office and www.ticketmaster.com.

Mellencamp’s tour, in support of his 20th studio album, made 80 stops in 2015 and the Boston Globe described the artist as “still full of fiery defiance.”

Carlene Carter, daughter June Carter Cash, will open.

Mellencamp is a Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Famer who has won a Grammy Award. He also is one of the founders of Farm Aid. His best-known songs include “Hurts So Good,” “Jack & Diane,” “Pink Houses” and “I Need a Lover.” His most recent album, “Plain Spoken,” was released in 2014.

The New York Times reviewed his April performance at the Apollo and said “At 63, Mr. Mellencamp sings in a gusty, craggy rasp, doing his part to embody the voice of conscience and experience.”

Taylor has sold more than 100 million albums and is in both the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame. His most recent album, “Before this World,” has been nominated for a 2016 Grammy Award for Best Pop Vocal Album. He’s best known for songs like “Fire and Rain” and “You’ve Got a Friend.” He performed at the DECC in 2002 and 2006.

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