MUSIC NEWS- Kurt Markus, whose still photography work has put him in the front ranks of contemporary American photographers is about to embark on a film project that will document a journey he’ll be taking this summer with rocker, John Mellencamp. Markus’ extraordinary vision and focus on the American West has earned him critical accolades over his 35 year career in photography that has seen his work published in Vanity Fair, GQ, Rolling Stone, Travel and Leisure, New York Times Magazine, Outside, Esquire, Texas Monthly, Entertainment Weekly, Vogue and Best Life as well as overseas publications. He's also been a recipient of Life Magazine’s Alfred Eisenstaedt Photography Award for his Rolling Stone “Sports Hall of Fame” shots of triathelete Peter Kotland.
This summer he will accompany Mellencamp with a classic Super 8 camera, capturing him on film during the tour and as he records an album of new songs. The expectation is that Markus’ approach to production will capture the unrefined truth of his experience with Mellencamp over the course of July and August. Mellencamp will record the new album at a variety of historic locations during days off from his forthcoming summer tour with Bob Dylan and Willie Nelson . The recording sessions are to take place at the First African Baptist Church in Savannah, GA, Sun Studios in Memphis, TN and San Antonio’s Gunter Hotel. Much of the album will be recorded on location using AMPEX 601 tape recorder made in 1951 and an RCA microphone from 1949. At Sun Studios, Mellencamp and a rhythm section will use equipment similar to that which Sam Phillips used when he first recorded Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins and the other legendary Sun Records artists. T Bone Burnett (producer of Elvis's new Secret, Profane and Sugarcane), who produced last years critically acclaimed Mellencamp album, Life Death Love and Freedom will oversee No Better Than This as well. No word on release plans for the film and Mellencamp's new album.
Markus, who was born in Montana and still lives there, made his mark in landscape, figure study, celebrity, fashion and travel. Exhibitions of his work have been mounted by the Cowboy Hall of Fame, Hills Gallery, Halsted Gallery, Staley-Wise Gallery, Gallery for Contemporary Photography and Galleria Photology. Markus published several monographs, including After Barbed Wire, Dreaming Georgia, Boxers, Cowpuncher. His work has been published in the pages of He has undertaken commercial assignments for Armani, BMW, Levis, Calvin Klein and Nike.