Tombstone couple vying for indie music awards

A Tombstone husband and wife duo is up for five fan-voted international independent artist music awards.

Country/bluegrass duo Candy and Joshua Carpenter, who call themselves The Band Wanted, are nominated for the International Singer-Songwriters Association‘s 2023 duo of the year, female songwriter, USA band single of the year and entertainer of the year as well as ISSA representative of the year.

Online voting at ends at midnight Sunday, April 30.

“We have an amazing fanbase. It’s people from all around the country and the UK and Canada,” Candy Carpenter said. “We’ve been building this fanbase for awhile and since we’ve become locals, it’s actually grown more.”

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The Carpenters have been based in Tombstone since the pandemic, when they pulled their RV/studio into town for a gig and ended up staying put when the country went on lockdown, Carpenter said.

Originally from Colorado, the pair had played two weeks at Tombstone’s Crystal Palace nearly yearly for several years after selling their electrical contracting business and becoming full-time musicians seven years ago.

Carpenter said during the pandemic, she and her husband hosted outdoor concerts and residents would spread out on the lawn to watch.

“It was a way for us to lift people’s spirits. It was a way for people to still come together and actually not be in each other’s face,” Carpenter said. “It was really pivotal.”

Carpenter said she and her husband, who settled into a RV park near the OK Corral, play monthly at Big Nose Kate’s and on Sundays at Tombstone Brewing Co. They’ve also done private shows in Tucson and the Phoenix area, mixing covers of classic country and bluegrass with their original material, much of it penned by Carpenter.

Earlier this month, the couple made their move to Tombstone official when they got Arizona driver’s licenses.

“We love it,” Carpenter said. “The history, the people. There are so many characters here.”

Carpenter said she hopes the recognition from the ISSA nominations and possible wins helps the couple, who have three kids and seven grandchildren in Colorado, land a songwriting deal.

Tucson singer-songwriter Brian Lopez reunites with Scottish singer KT Tunstall on “Road to Avalon,” a song he recorded during the pandemic. It’s the second single off his forthcoming solo album “Tidal,” due out this summer on the Los Angeles-based Cosmic Records. The single is available on most major download platforms on Tuesday, April 4. Lopez, who also is part of the popular Tucson cumbia rock band XIXA, toured North America and the UK with Tunstall in 2013 as part of her “Invisible Empire Crescent Moon” tour. He sang backing vocals on that studio album, which Tunstall recorded at Tucson’s WaveLab Studios with Howe Gelb. Lopez said he and Tunstall worked remotely on the single during the COVID-19 pandemic, exchanging digital files as he made the record at home and from his downtown Dust & Stone Recording Studio. 

Contact reporter Cathalena E. Burch at On Twitter @Starburch

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