“I write my best songs when men piss me off,” says Candi Carpenter, whose fiery first single, “Burn The Bed” tells the story of a scorned woman’s cheating husband. Her aching, soulful voice has drawn comparisons to Janis Joplin and Patsy Cline, while critics have dubbed her “the modern Loretta Lynn” of country songwriting.
“A lot of people say I have a crazy story,” she says. “Maybe I do, but I think we’re all messed up in our own way. That’s why I write about the bad, the ugly, and the good that makes it all worthwhile. The hurt, and the healing, and everything in between.”
Candi’s musical roots are buried deep in memories of stained glass windows and dog eared hymnals, as she toured the midwest with her family’s gospel band. At age 11, she crashed a Vince Gill concert by writing “Can I yodel for you?” on the back of a ticket stub. Later that year, she signed her first production deal in Nashville. She traded high school for a small room at The Shoney’s Inn downtown, and the stages of honky tonk dives like Tootsies and The Broken Spoke Saloon became her classroom. She performed every night until the bars closed down, hiding from the police in the bathrooms.
When Candi was 16, country music legend Jack Greene heard the raw honesty in Candi’s music and took her under his wing as his duet partner. She spent her weekends backstage at The Grand Ole Opry, or writing and touring the country with the likes of Bill Anderson, Little Jimmy Dickens, Porter Wagoner, and Loretta Lynn.
As time went on, Candi had very little say over her career or the music she recorded, and found herself being shepherded in a direction that wasn’t true to who she was as an artist. “I was told that I needed to tone it down. I wasn’t able to grow, and I wasn’t allowed to find myself musically.” Immediately after extricating herself from the management deal that robbed her of her childhood, she was pulled into a disastrous marriage. With the support of her loved ones, she rallied the strength and courage to move out, move on, and take control of her life.
She cleaned houses, and worked three jobs to pay for demos and groceries, until signing with CTK Management in 2014. That relationship ultimately resulted in a recording contract with Sony Music Worldwide. “If her future is as bright as her talent, she is going to be a very big star,” said the late Phil Everly, a close friend and collaborator. Look for “Burn The Bed,” now on country radio.. . .