Just announced this week is the John Mellencamp Sad Clowns & Hillbillies 2017 Summer Tour, with 22 U.S. dates in June and July, then 5 more Fair shows in August and September! This comes not long after the highly successful 2-year Plain Spoken tour with Carlene as Special Guest on all shows. The new tour will follow the April release of the new John Mellencamp CD featuring Carlene Carter (on Republic Records) which Katie Couric recently asked him about:
KATIE COURIC: "You just wrapped up a tour with Carlene Carter - cool - the daughter of June Carter and Carl Smith, stepdaughter of Johnny Cash. Now you have a new album that's coming out later this spring, called Sad Clowns and Hillbillies. You excited about that?"
JOHN MELLENCAMP: "Yeah, Carlene and I, we met, Stephen King and I were doing a musical (Ghost Brothers of Darkland County), and Carlene had a small part in it. It was traveling around the United States, and Carlene and I got to be friends, from me showing up periodically to watch the musical. Then I was doing something for Meg Ryan - she made a little movie (Ithaca) and she directed it, and I did the music for it, and I needed somebody to sing with kind of a twang ("Sugar Hill Mountain"). So I thought Carlene would be perfect for that. So I called Carlene and then Carlene started going on the road with me. Carlene and I became singing buddies, so we decided to make this record together. It’s crazy the way it started. It was going to be a religious record. It started out as like, ‘Look, let’s go back and do an old country religious record. We’ll try to write songs that sound like those songs, but they’ll be new.’ And then it just kept evolving and evolving and evolving. The songs she was bringing and the songs I was bringing, they weren’t so religious [laughs]. I write a lot of sad songs. So Sad Clowns and Hillbillies - that’s where it came from."
And from Carlene's interview with the Columbia Daily Tribune last fall: "He (John Mellencamp) is part of the soundtrack to my life, like he is to a lot of people," she said, sharing her memories of dancing to his hits and singing them loudly while driving in her convertible decades ago. The pair have traveled extensively together since. Carter opens the show for Mellencamp and, at some point in the set, they do a few songs together. They have become quite natural singing partners. "I don’t have a hard time figuring out where he’s going to go; it’s like I already know where he’s going," Carter said. Carter and Mellencamp have more in common than musical sensibility. Both have lived and made work with a similar sense of purpose and stubbornness. "We both have been uncompromised artists. I think we have that in common, almost like little rebels," she said.
Fans at the last leg of the Plain Spoken tour got to hear the duo sing two of their collaborations from the forthcoming album: the beautiful ballad "Indigo Sunset"; and the up-tempo gospel "My Soul’s Got Wings" with Mr. Mellencamp's music for lyrics by one of his heroes, Woody Guthrie. (In the unbroken musical circle, Mr. Guthrie adapted the melody to his most famous song, "This Land is Your Land," from a song recorded by The Carter Family.)
The Sad Clowns & Hillbillies tour starts June 5 in Colorado, and along with Mr. Mellencamp and Carlene will include Very Special Guest Emmylou Harris and Indianapolis folk-pop sister duo Lily & Madeleine. Emmylou of course is a long-time friend of Carlene, and was the first to record "Easy From Now On" which Carlene wrote with the late Susanna Clark back in 1977. Substituting for Emmylou at the 2 Oregon dates (June 10 and 11) will be singer-songwriter Jewel (who played Carlene's mother June Carter Cash in the 2013 Lifetime Television movie "Ring of Fire"). The 5 Fair dates in August and September will include just Mr. Mellencamp and Carlene. All of the info as always is on Carlene's Calendar.
Tickets for the tour will be available to the general public beginning Friday, February 24 at 10 am. Mellencamp.com and VIP pre-sale tickets will be available beginning Wednesday, February 22 at 10 am until Thursday, February 23 at 10 pm. Every online ticket comes with 1 physical CD of the Sad Clowns & Hillbillies album.
JOHN MELLENCAMP SAD CLOWNS & HILLBILLIES 2017 SUMMER TOUR DATES
June 05 - Greenwood Village, CO - Fiddler's Green Amphitheatre
June 07 - Boise, ID - Outlaw Field at the Idaho Botanical Garden **
June 08 - Redmond, WA - Marymoor Park
June 10 - Troutdale, OR - McMenamins Edgefield #
June 11 - Bend, OR - Les Schwab Amphitheater #
June 13 - Saratoga, CA - The Mountain Winery **
June 14 - Saratoga, CA - The Mountain Winery **
June 17 - Murphys, CA - Ironstone Amphitheatre
June 18 - Los Angeles, CA - Greek Theatre
June 21 - Grand Prairie, TX - Verizon Theatre
June 22 - Sugar Land, TX - Smart Financial Centre at Sugar Land
June 24 - Saint Augustine, FL - Saint Augustine Amphitheatre
June 25 - Boca Raton, FL - Mizner Park Amphitheatre
June 27 - Atlanta, GA - Chastain Park Amphitheatre **
June 28 - Cary, NC - Cary’s Koka Booth Amphitheatre
June 30 - Gilford, NH - Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion
July 01 - Lenox, MA - Tanglewood
July 03 - Vienna, VA - Wolf Trap ***
July 06 - Philadelphia, PA - The Mann Music Center
July 07 - Bethel, NY - Bethel Woods Center for the Arts **
July 08 - Canandaigua, NY - CMAC
July 11 - New York, NY - Forest Hills Stadium
August 04 - West Allis, WI - Wisconsin State Fair *
August 05 - Davenport, IA - Mississippi Valley Fair *
August 29 - St Paul, MN - Minnesota State Fair *
August 31 - Allentown, PA - The Great Allentown Fair *
September 01 - Essex Junction, VT - Champlain Valley Fair *
# Jewel is Special Guest for this show, Emmylou Harris will not be performing
* Emmylou Harris and Lily and Madeleine will not be appearing
** Public & Pre-Sale Ticket on sale date TBA
*** July 03 - Vienna, VA - Wolf Trap on sale March 18 at 10 am
My amazing friend Don Was just sent me this! He's playing the bass my Daddy gave me and I passed it on to my favorite bass player in the world! Love you Don and Daddy (Carl) would be most pleased:-)
UK writer Terry Staunton posted on his Facebook page: "Had a lovely little chat with Dave Edmunds earlier today, for a piece I'm writing about country duets." Dave told him: "Singing with Carlene was the most fun I've had singing any song – ever! We would do Baby Ride Easy at any and every possible opportunity. We would have stopped people on the street to play it. I loved the way she would gaze up at me while I was singing my lines, I always got the feeling that every time we sang it we would fall in love with each other for three-and-a-half minutes. I haven't seen her for many years, but I know that if or when we meet up again, the first thing we'll do is sing this song."
Happy New Year to all our beautiful friends!!!
Blessings in 2017
Carlene and Joe
Today we pay tribute to Carlene's great-uncle Alvin Pleasant (A.P.) Carter, born 125 years ago, on December 15, 1891 in Maces Springs, Virginia. With his wife Sara and her cousin Maybelle they formed The Carter Family, one of the first and most influential country music acts of all time. A.P. collected, adapted, and wrote original songs that became standards of American music like Wildwood Flower, Gold Watch and Chain, and Will The Circle Be Unbroken? He died on November 7, 1960 and in 1970 was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, and with The Carter Family in the Country Music Hall of Fame. In 1993 the trio was honored with their image on a U.S. postage stamp. Throughout her career, Carlene has recorded and performed many of the original Carter Family songs, most notably on her 2014 album Carter Girl. Today she wrote, "Where would music be without Uncle A.P.!!!"
Click the album covers below to get these great releases, all originally on Warner Bros Records, now on iTunes:
Yep!!! I am 61 years in this world:-) I am blessed, healthy, surrounded by and filled with love and I still have all my own teeth!! So life is GREAT! Thanks everybody for the wonderful birthday wishes:-) Love and light xoxo
Join Carlene and many other great artists and friends on The Outlaw Country Cruise, sailing February 26 through March 2, 2017 from Tampa to Cozumel! Click on the picture for all the info:
On Friday, July 15th, 2016 at 7:30 p.m., the Carter Family Fold in Hiltons, Virginia will present a special concert by Carlene Carter. This long-awaited and exciting Carter Girl Homecoming has been in the works for several months, but could only be officially announced today. Admission to the concert is $15 for adults, $5 for children 6 to 11, under age 6 free. Carlene’s concert will be solo with her playing guitar, autoharp, and piano. While her concert will not be a typical Carter Fold performance, it’s been far too long since she has performed at the Fold. During her extremely full and busy life, she has been unable to spend much time in Virginia at her mom’s birth place at the foot of Clinch Mountain. Carlene is the daughter of June Carter Cash and Carl Smith. Her stepfather, and the man she called Dad, was none other than Johnny Cash. Her grandmother was Maybelle Carter, and her great aunt and uncle were Sara and A.P. Carter. That’s an impressive musical pedigree by anyone’s standards.
Join us at the foot of Clinch Mountain at the Carter Family Fold for this long overdue concert – Carter Girl Homecoming. The Fold is so proud, thrilled and honored to welcome Carlene Carter home to the place that is responsible for such a big part of her musical heritage. Performing in the place so many of her family members performed on so many occasions over the last forty-two years, this promises to be one the most special and heart-warming concerts in our history. Carlene and her husband Joe live in California. She spends as much time as possible in Nashville near her children and her grandchildren, but she rarely makes it all the way to Virginia. Don’t miss this unique event as it may be a long time in coming around again.
I am blessed to be a mother to two amazing people! Tiffany Anastasia Lowe and John Jackson Routh. Thank you for the gift of love you've given me every day since you were born! Momma loves her babies and her grandbabies. xoxo (Photo by Vicki Langdon)
American country singer Carlene Carter makes her long-awaited return to the UK for a series of mid-June solo concert dates, with tickets going on sale Friday, April 15 for the following shows in England and Ireland:
June 10 - St Barnabas Church / Oxford, England
June 11 - O2 Academy Islington / London, England
June 13 - The Trades Club / Hebden Bridge, England
June 14 - Whelan's / Dublin, Ireland
June 15 – Ballymaloe Grainstore / County Cork, Ireland
June 16 - Glor Theatre / County Clare, Ireland
June 23 - The Con Club / Lewes, England
Having started her career in the UK with her self-titled debut album (recorded with Graham Parker and the Rumour in 1978), Carter made London her home for several years during her marriage to Nick Lowe (who produced her third and fourth albums, Musical Shapes and Blue Nun), and spent a year on the West End stage in the musical Pump Boys and Dinettes.
Carter's strong connection with British fans was reestablished when her most recent release, Carter Girl, debuted at #3 on the UK Country Albums chart and was named Best Americana Album of the Year by Sylvie Simmons in MOJO magazine. Rolling Stone wrote: "to a certain generation, she was the cute and spry American babe who headed to the UK and struck up some relationships there, nearly all of them musical... this new album, produced by Don Was, is evocative, mature, and consistently impressive... A strong and very welcome showing for one of pop music’s long-missed characters, now back again."
As the special guest on the John Mellencamp tour, Carter has been performing her one-woman set in sold-out theaters across North America most of 2015 and April of this year. She told the Austin Chronicle: "I was pretty chuffed that I could open for a Rock & Roll Hall of Famer as an acoustic act by myself. Working with Mellencamp, I made new fans, people that may have never heard of me. They may have heard I was related to the Carter Family or Johnny Cash somehow, but what they got was pure Carlene. Very much in the spirit of the Carter Family, I’d just go out and do what makes people happy. I really enjoyed the process of playing by myself and I’m going to continue to do it for a while. It really does prove my theory that it’s all about the songs."
Carter says of the upcoming shows: "I'm so looking forward to the dates in England and Ireland, as I have deep roots there and it always feels like I'm coming home when I land at London Heathrow!" Her "special guest" on the tour will be her husband, actor and singer Joe Breen, whose own family is from County Clare, where his sister Christine Breen and her husband Niall Williams are well known writers living on the family homestead. Carter says: "I'm so excited to be bringing the music of the Carter Family via this 'Carter Girl' and share some songs, stories from my life, and have a lot of FUN at every show."
I am so sad to hear of Merle Haggard's passing!
I had the great honor of being on tour with him back in 1990!
He was an incredibly talented man in so many ways.
I will miss him in this world but he left us with so much music!
RIP Mister Haggard
Love you always xo
Carlene Carter has been releasing music for almost four decades. Daughter of June Carter and Carl Smith, and stepdaughter of Johnny Cash, her most recent album Carter Girl (Rounder Records), pays homage to her own musical lineage, consisting of songs culled from the Carter Family songbook as well as Carlene Carter originals. Carter Girl, produced by Don Was, features guest artists Willie Nelson, Vince Gill, Kris Kristofferson and Elizabeth Cook. The album’s repertoire serves as the cornerstone of her one-woman live set. After attending a 2015 Plain Spoken Tour performance, Jeffrey Lee Puckett of the Louisville Courier-Journal wrote, “The Carter Family was ground zero for country music as we know it, and Carter carried the weight of that immense legacy with an easy grace and rich humanity.”
“Opening act Carter delivered a captivating set that was full of storytelling and her rich, penetrating voice,” commented Randy Cordova of the Arizona Republic last year. “Though the mood of her songs was often darkly somber – ‘Lonesome Valley 2003’ is about the death of her mother, June Carter Cash – Carter’s sass and molasses-and-honey delivery is like the aural equivalent of a warm hug.”
Carter and Mellencamp have a rich history of working together. Carlene was involved in Ghost Brothers of Darkland County, a touring musical co-written by Stephen King and Mellencamp, and produced by T-Bone Burnett. Ghost Brothers tunes, including “Tear This Cabin Down” and “Away from This World,” have been performed as Carter/Mellencamp duets in past Plain Spoken Tour dates.
Kicking off on April 1 in Tulsa, OK at the Brady Theater and concluding on April 23 in Albany, NY, with over a dozen Midwest and east coast dates in between, the 2016 Plain Spoken Tour will give audiences the chance to see and hear Carlene Carter, whom the Portland Oregonian’s Jeff Baker describes best as “a spirited member of the First Family of American music who can fire up an older audience with nothing but talent, sassy stories, acoustic guitar and piano.”
Tickets for all Plain Spoken Tour dates are currently on sale.
2016 Plain Spoken Tour
ALL DATES WITH CARLENE CARTER AND JOHN MELLENCAMP
1-Apr Tulsa, OK Brady Theater
2-Apr Thackerville, OK WinStar World Casino
4-Apr Springfield, MO Juanita K. Hammons Hall for the Performing Arts
5-Apr Davenport, IA Adler Theatre
7-Apr Duluth, MN DECC Symphony Hall
9-Apr Lawrence, KS Lied Center of Kansas
10-Apr Springfield, IL Sangamon Auditorium
12-Apr Muncie, IN Emens Auditorium
13-Apr Huntington, WV Keith Albee Theater
15-Apr Mount Pleasant, MI Soaring Eagle Casino
16-Apr Wheeling, WV Capitol Theatre
17-Apr Erie, PA Warner Theatre
19-Apr Hartford, CT The Bushnell Performing Arts Center
20-Apr Portland, ME Merrill Auditorium
22-Apr Rochester, NY Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre
23-Apr Albany, NY Palace Theatre
This time last year I started the John Mellencamp "Plain Spoken" tour in South Bend. And now..... I'm in Indiana recording with him and his amazing band!! Great stuff!!