Sad Clowns & Hillbillies

by John Mellencamp featuring Carlene Carter

Released April 28, 2017
Republic Records
Released April 28, 2017
Republic Records
John Mellencamp is teaming up with some country music heavy-hitters for his new album 'Sad Clowns & Hillbillies.' Carlene Carter is a major presence on the project, and Martina McBride guests on the song "Grandview." ROLLING STONE COUNTRY
1. Mobile Blue, John Mellencamp 3:02
2. Battle of Angels, John Mellencamp 3:58
3. Grandview (feat. Martina McBride), John Mellencamp 3:51
4. Indigo Sunset (feat. Carlene Carter), John Mellencamp 3:32
5. What Kind of Man Am I (feat. Carlene Carter), John Mellencamp 4:09
6. All Night Talk Radio, John Mellencamp 5:08
7. Sugar Hill Mountain (feat. Carlene Carter), John Mellencamp 3:07
8. You Are Blind, John Mellencamp 3:20
9. Damascus Road (feat. Carlene Carter), John Mellencamp 4:15
10. Early Bird Cafe, John Mellencamp 4:06
11. Sad Clowns, John Mellencamp 2:41
12. My Soul's Got Wings (feat. Carlene Carter), John Mellencamp 2:57
13. Easy Target, John Mellencamp 2:42

(****) Country music and John Mellencamp have been a good fit ever since he first dabbled on 1987's The Lonesome Jubilee. Thirty years, three marriages and one heart attack later, these 13 songs come with several lifetimes' worth of experience. Five are duets with country royalty Carlene Carter, while the swaggering single Grandview partners him with '90s vintage Nashville star Martina McBride... But it's on the Mellencamp/Carter duets Indigo Sunset and the tough, self-questioning What Kind of Man Am I that it all shifts up a gear...

ESSENTIAL RELEASE. The combination of John Mellencamp and Carlene Carter can't help but bring to mind the collaborations of Johnny Cash with his wife (and Carlene's mum) June Carter Cash. Mellencamp has the gravitas to carry such comparisons these days, as he proves with Easy Target... Meanwhile, the delicately beautiful Indigo Sunset shows off his other strengths.

ALBUM OF THE WEEK (****) Skilful, colourful, at times simply electrifying, Mellencamp's 23rd album marks a high point in his recent collaboration with country icon Carlene Carter... the duo cook up a storm on tracks like Damascus Road and My Soul's Got Wings...
UK SUNDAY EXPRESS (April 23, 2017)

This time, veteran country artist and longtime Mellencamp touring partner Carlene Carter is a prominent contributor, writing some songs, co-writing others and singing on several... “Indigo Sunset” is a soulfully beautiful duet with Carter, highlighted by some sweet vintage organ burble. “My Soul’s Got Wings” is a guitar-driven gospel tune with a glorious singalong chorus. The Carter-led “Sugar Hill Mountain” benefits from its woozy Dixieland vibe.
BEN SALMON, PASTE (April 26, 2017)

John Mellencamp featuring Carlene Carter, “Sad Clowns & Hillbillies” (Republic). The daughter of June Carter Cash and stepdaughter of Johnny Cash, is clearly key to the rootsy 23rd album from Indiana singer, songwriter and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Mellencamp.

(8/10) Mellencamp's 23rd studio album is a study in mood and texture, as Carlene Carter's voice melts over that of her self-described "singing buddy" like honey over beef jerky, while the standard violin-mandolin-accordion corduroy rusticity is shoved aside here and there with musical and emotional ferocity...

New album and tour with John Mellencamp!

Every online ticket for June and July dates comes with 1 physical CD of “Sad Clowns & Hillbillies”!

Sad Clowns & Hillbillies album on NPR!

Stream Carlene's new album with John Mellencamp in its entirety on NPR's First Listen!

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