Closing out the 2017 Illinois State Fair on Sunday, August 20th will be Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, John Mellencamp. The iconic classic rocker has been cranking out hits and performing in front of live audiences for the last 40-years. While most known for songs like “Pink Houses,” “Small Town,” and “Paper in Fire,” Mellencamp was among the founding members of Farm Aid. The annual event, co-launched by Willie Nelson and Neil Young, helps make people aware of the issues facing farmers and how those issues impact the entire nation.
John Mellencamp’s upcoming full-length album, Sad Clowns & Hillbillies, featuring Carlene Carter, is his 23rd over the course of a remarkable career. Is set to be released on April 21, 2017 followed by an upcoming summer tour in major cities across the country. Sad Clowns & Hillbillies returns Mellencamp to the musical eclecticism that is, itself, a reflection of his wide-ranging musings on life and showcases a poet who has wisely used the years between youth and the present day to become an absolute master of songwriting and interpretation.
Carlene Carter comes full circle with her latest CD, Carter Girl, on Rounder Records. As the daughter of country music legends June Carter Cash and Carl Smith, and granddaughter of "Mother" Maybelle Carter of the original historic Carter Family, Carlene said it was her lifelong goal to make this record. "The songs on the album cover three generations of Carter Family music," she explains. "The original Carter Family (A.P., Sara, and Maybelle); Momma's 'Tall Lover Man' and Aunt Helen's 'Poor Old Heartsick Me'; then two of mine: 'Me and the Wildwood Rose' and a new song about Momma and John's passing called 'Lonesome Valley 2003.'