His new album, "Freedom's Road," is just out, but don't expect to see John Mellencamp on the road until much later this year. "Probably not 'til this fall," Mellencamp tells Billboard.com, adding that

His new album, "Freedom's Road," is just out, but don't expect to see John Mellencamp on the road until much later this year. "Probably not 'til this fall," Mellencamp tells Billboard.com, adding that he's planning a package-style tour to promote the album.

"I don't want to go out and just play the same songs I've been playing," the Indiana rocker explains. "I want to put together something called the Freedom's Roadshow ... and make it more like, not a minstrel show but, I guess, a festival is a good word for it."

Mellencamp says he hopes to include Joan Baez and Little Big Town, both of whom appear on "Freedom's Road," and possibly some other musicians. "I haven't talked to anybody yet," he says. "But everything will be based around my band. My band will be on stage all night. There's be no stage-changing, no equipment-changing and all that crap. My band will just play with everybody."

And even though no dates or other details have been determined, fans who buy a copy of "Freedom's Road" at Target will receive a digital code that will give them access to pre-sales for the tour. For now, however, Mellencamp will be promoting "Freedom's Road" on TV -- including a two-night residency today (Jan. 24) and tomorrow on ABC's "Jimmy Kimmel Live!"

He'll also spend time with author Stephen King polishing "The Ghost Brothers of Darkland County," the "play with music" that they've been working on for the past several years. The two got together in November to continue putting it together, and Mellencamp says "that's really another reason why I'm not gonna be on tour this summer, 'cause I'm pretty sure I'm gonna be ... working on this musical," including meeting with potential producers and investors.

"Steve is the sweetest guy you could ever meet; there's nothing weird about him or demonic or anything like that," Mellencamp says. "I remember once we were playing in Green Bay, Wisc., and he came out and played acoustic guitar on a song. I went back to get him, and his hands were shaking. I said, 'You gotta be sh*tting me -- the man who scared the world is scared to walk out in front of 10,000 people?!' He said, 'Yeah, I'm f*cking afraid!' I said, 'Get your ass out there!' He's just the sweetest guy, and he's great to work with."