Sad Clowns & Hillbillies

by John Mellencamp featuring Carlene Carter

Released April 28, 2017
Republic Records
Released April 28, 2017
Republic Records
"Some songs feature either Mellencamp or Carter alone, and the material is a mix of songs penned by Mellencamp and Carter, as well as some covers. But Carter's deep country roots are a constant presence, even on tracks where she doesn't appear." JIM ALLEN, NPR
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

“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” – Bud Scoppa, Uncut

“Carter's deep country roots are a constant presence, even on tracks where she doesn't appear.” – Jim Allen, NPR

“The daughter of June Carter cash and stepdaughter to Johnny Cash, is clearly key to the rootsy 23rd album from Indiana singer, songwriter and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Mellencamp.” – Jon M. Gilbertson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

“Salvation comes with the Carter-penned, redemption-filled ‘Damascus Road’” – Melinda Newman, Los Angeles Times

“’Indigo Sunset,’ the first duet between the headliners – is kicked off by Carter’s soulful country contralto. She frames the lyric’s haunted loneliness while Mellencamp’s grainy rasp – framed by B-3, mandolin, fiddle, and guitars – balances perfectly to bring it home . . . Carter’s soaring lead opening the duet of the rocking blues-gospel of ‘Damascus Road’ is another set highlight . . . Carter’s command of the country church vernacular (after all, she sang with her mom in the Carter Family) lights the fuse for Mellencamp . . . Because Carter’s dynamic presence here, and the pair’s unmistakable chemistry, lift this album above the ordinary.” – Thom Jurek, All Music

“Together, the two have joined their magnificent forces to bring Mellencamp’s twenty-third studio album to life . . . Carter takes the reins for the down home, Folk Country jamboree of ‘Sugar Hill Mountain,’ which segues perfectly into the lovely duet ‘You Are Blind,’ a track about being blinded by love. Carter then returns to lead on the gritty tale of ‘Damascus Road.’ . . . Mr. Mellencamp is incomparable at his craft, and Ms. Carter is right on par with our hero; together the two are unstoppable. For these reasons and so very many more, CrypticRock gives Sad Clowns & Hillbillies 5 of 5 stars.” – Jeannie Blue, Cryptic Rock

“John Mellencamp’s 23rd studio album takes a while to hit pay dirt. Openers Mobile Blues and Battle Of Angels, then Grandview (a by-the-numbers paean to trailers featuring country-pop star Martina McBride) sound curiously lowkey… but when the album delivers on its artwork credit and starts ‘featuring Carlene Carter’, the magic really happens.” – Neil Jeffries, Team Rock

“’Indigo Sunset’ is a soulfully beautiful duet with Carter, highlighted by some sweet vintage organ burble.” – Ben Salmon, Paste Magazine

"’Indigo Sunset’ is a glorious collaboration with Carlene Carter…” – Markos Papadatos, Digital Journal

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