Here’s what I thought of John Mellencamp’s new album featuring Carlene Carter

John Mellencamp
John Mellencamp

I finally got the full album from John Mellencamp featuring Carlene Carter, so check out the review below. After that, I review some mostly non-musical movies from Music Video Distributors.

‘Sad Clowns & Hillbillies,’ John Mellencamp featuring Carlene Carter (Republic Records, )

This recording was released in April, and my positive review of the sampler came late. Thus, I’m grateful for the opportunity to review the full album.

Mandolin, fiddle, acoustic guitars join drums, organ and other instruments on the album. Mellencamp’s voice has gotten deeper with age, and Carter’s voice blends well with it.

My favorite songs are the opener, “Mobile Blue,” the organ-drenched duet, “Indigo Sunset,” “Sugar Hill Mountain,” a Carlene lead vocal that mixes in horns and the good-natured “Early Bird Café.”

Americana fans who don’t mind occasionally rockier instrumentation will enjoy this album.

‘Devil’s Doman,’ directed by Jared Cohn (Cleopatra/MVDvisual,)

This July 11 Parental Advisory horror movie release, tells the story of Lisa (Madi Vodane), a mixed-up, sexually confused, social-media obsessed teen, who meets an appealing stranger online. She makes a deal with Destiny (Linda Bella), who turns out to be the Devil in an impressive array of costume and special effects. Hollywood veteran Michael Madsen appears as Lisa’s stepfather.

Needless to say, Lisa’s tormentors begin to die in increasingly hideous ways; and she begins to regret making the deal that has made her a famous reality star even though she hasn’t accomplished anything.

This is a politically incorrect, violent, sexually charged B-movie that some readers will enjoy.

‘When Bette Met Mae,’ a Wes Whedon Film (Reel History Films/MVDvisual, )

This DVD has been around the house for a while. It stems from Whedon’s audio-cassette recording of a dinner meeting Nov. 13, 1973, meeting between two screen icons, Bette Davis and Mae West. The two icons and other folks in attendance (including bartender Wes Whedon) are played onscreen by actors, since there was no video recorded during the actual meeting. The dialogue is painstakingly synched from the 2011-restored tape.

Mae West came up with script, characterization and ideas for her movies and stage shows; one of her early movies saved a floundering Paramount in 1933. Bette Davis is the consummate actress, though she didn’t fully enter the writing stage on most of her acclaimed movies. These and other facts will be discussed, debated and sometimes denied by the stars and other dinner-party participants.

The film is thoroughly interesting and entertaining.

R.I.P. Haruo Nakajima, the samurai stunt double who brought the character Godzilla to life in many movies from 1954 to the mid-1970s.

Ricky Flake, a former punk rocker and current music fan, lives in Biloxi. Reach him at flakericky@gmail.com