John Mellencamp's upcoming album will feature an assist from Bruce Springsteen. "Bruce is singing on the new record and is playing guitar,” Mellencamp said Saturday during the second installment of Clive Davis' virtual 2021 Grammy gala, Billboard reported. "I finished the record a week ago today."

In April, buzz circulated online after a tweet claimed that Springsteen and Mellencamp, a Bloomington, Ind., resident, were spotted at a restaurant together in the city.

Mellencamp didn't elaborate on the LP, which follows 2017's Sad Clowns & Hillbillies, during the event. But in mid-February, he teased his 25th record with a minute-long sample of "I Always Lie to Strangers," a folky new song featuring acoustic guitar, piano and violin.

At the time, a statement on his website clarified that Mellencamp had "already cut 10 tracks" and planned to record 17 more. A press release noted that the album is "due out later this year," though a release date has yet to be announced.

The singer also detailed plans for two other projects: a new live LP and documentary, both titled The Good Samaritan Tour, which chronicle a free 2000 trek where he performed on street corners and public parks throughout the U.S. Matthew McConaughey was set to narrate the film.

Mellencamp was also hoping to resume production on an "untitled original play" directed by Kathleen Marshall, produced by Scott Landis and written by Naomi Wallace. During the Grammy event, he teased a jukebox musical titled Small Town that he expects will open in Birmingham, Ala., and eventually hit Broadway.

The musical focuses on a pair of kids named, naturally, Jack and Diane; Mellencamp said he didn't write any new material for it. "I told them, I have 600 songs published," he said. "Surely you can find 12 to 15 songs that will work."

 

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