John Mellencamp / Emmylou Harris / Carlene Carter

John Mellencamp performs in Dallas.

Louis DeLuca/The Dallas Morning News

John Mellencamp / Emmylou Harris / Carlene Carter at

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He’s always been a little bit country and a little bit rock ‘n’ roll, but one thing this Rock and Roll Hall of Famer has never been is comfortable with his own popularity. It’s unlikely you will hear many of Mellencamp’s abundant hits when he rolls through North Texas this month — instead, he’s likely to play new material from his just-released Sad Clowns and Hillbillies, co-written by and featuring duets with Carlene Carter, daughter of legendary country music songwriter June Carter Cash. The pair seems a match made in roots-rock heaven; legend has it that Carter’s stepfather, Johnny Cash, once referred to Mellencamp as one of the 10 best songwriters of all time. Together, Mellencamp and Carter have produced a gritty, rasping ode to the heartland, filled with world-weary characters in search of salvation. If that weren’t enough, they’re supported by another Hall of Famer, country music superstar Emmylou Harris.

Mellencamp is joined on his Sad Clowns & Hillbillies Tour by special guest Emmylou Harris and Carlene Carter.

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