Rhyme Report

Published on May 11th, 2017 | by Just Jay

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John Mellencamp’s New Album Sad Clowns & Hillbillies Reaches Historic Career

Achieving a career best on the Billboard Top Americana Albums Chart, heartland rocker John Mellencamp debuts at #1 with his 23rd full-length album Sad Clowns & Hillbillies featuring Carlene Carter—the daughter of June Carter Cash and stepdaughter of Johnny Cash—on Republic Records.

Storming multiple charts, Sad Clowns & Hillbillies arrives at #3 on the Top Rock Albums Chart, tying 2007’s Freedom’s Road and making for his first Top 5 bow in a decade. In addition, it lands at #5 on the Top Album Sales Chart. It also stands out as his fifth consecutive Top 20 album on the Billboard 200 Chart.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Famer has taken over television since the record’s release. He not only performed with Martina McBride for “Grandview” and played “Jack and Diane” acoustic on Late Night With Seth Meyers, but he also granted an intimate interview, sharing a story about Bob Dylan encouraging him to begin selling his now infamous paintings. He continued the takeover with an appearances on the Today Show where he sat down to talk about Sad Clowns & Hillbillies (see interview here), and performed a song in every hour of the show with Carlene Carter including “Pink Houses,” “Grandview,” “Indigo Sunset,” and “Small Town.”

This summer, Mellencamp will tour for 22 stops across North America for his all-new Sad Clowns & Hillbillies tour kicking off on June 5th in Denver, Colorado with special guests, Emmylou Harris, tour-mate Carlene Carter and Lily & Madeleine. See the full tour itinerary and purchase tickets here.

Sad Clowns and Hillbillies is the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer’s follow up to 2014’s critically-acclaimed, Plain Spoken.

Track Listing:

Mobile Blue
Battle Of Angels
Grandview Featuring Martina Mcbride
Indigo Sunset
What Kind Of Man Am I
All Night Talk Radio
Sugar Hill Mountain
You Are Blind
Damascus Road
Early Bird Café
Sad Clowns
My Soul’s Got Wings
Easy Target

ABOUT JOHN MELLENCAMP
John Mellencamp’s career in music, spanning more than 35 years, has seen him transition from pop star to one of the most highly respected singer/songwriters of a generation. Mellencamp is incredibly acclaimed; he is a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, a Grammy winner, a recipient of the John Steinbeck Award, ASCAP Foundation’s Champion Award, The Woody Guthrie Award and Americana Music Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award and more recently, the Founders Award, the top honor assigned by the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers. He is also one of the most successful live concert performers in the world. In 1985, Mellencamp, together with Willie Nelson and Neil Young, created Farm Aid. The social activism reflected in his songs helped catalyze Farm Aid, the concert series and organization that has addressed the struggle of American family farmers for more than 25 years. John also wrote the title song for the upcoming film, The Yellow Birds, an American war film directed by Alexandre Moors and based on the novel The Yellow Birds by Kevin Powers. The film stars Tye Sheridan, Jack Huston, Alden Ehrenreich, Jennifer Aniston, and Toni Collette. John continues to focus on another facet of his artistic expression: painting. His style has progressed over the years as evidenced by several gallery shows and published portfolios, and in recent years he has increased his output by completing over 100 new works. His pieces were shown in 2012 at the Tennessee State Museum in Nashville under the title “Nothing Like I Planned: The Art Of John Mellencamp” and, more recently at the Butler Institute of American Art in an exhibition entitled “The Paintings Of John Mellencamp.” “The Paintings of John Mellencamp” traveled to the Museum of Art-DeLand, Florida and John’s art was showcased at the ACA Gallery in New York. The unique instrumentation of his band and his poignant songs about everyday life in the American heartland, are widely credited with being the forbearer of the Americana/No Depression genre of rural-inflected music. An extraordinary collaboration performed by an ensemble cast of 15 actors and a four-piece live band, comprised of members of John Mellencamp’s band is The Ghost Brothers of Darkland County, a musical with music and lyrics by John Mellencamp, a libretto by author Stephen King and production by T Bone Burnett. The show is being further developed in London, though King and Mellencamp are no longer as actively involved. Mellencamp continues his journey as the walking embodiment of heartland rock; passionate, plain-spoken, and a self-proclaimed rebel. John Mellencamp continues to live and work in Bloomington, Indiana.

Check out Sad Clowns and Hillbillies Here:


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