It’s not easy being a female artist. It’s particularly not easy being a female country music artist these days, because the music industry wants to typecast you.
It’s kind of like high school.
You can be the pretty one.
You can be the smart one.
You can be the sexy one.
But for some reason, there are a lot of people who don’t like you being all three, and more.
Candy Coburn is determined to be herself, speak her own truth, and most importantly, to sing her own truth.
Her truth is the human truth. It’s the story of how life can be fantastic and awful, sometimes at the same time.
She knows because she has fought to be heard. She has fought for sobriety, a recovering alcoholic.
And she has fought battles that were not specifically hers, but fought them because she knows they could be hers. She is currently at work with at risk young women who are in foster and homeless shelters through a creative music/songwriting project she founded called the SOULful INSPIRation of Music Project of Austin. She is especially proud that she was able to have some of the girls sing background vocals on the fighter song, “Walk Tall”, on her new album, The Good Life which will be released July 27, 2016.
“This is a very powerful time for me, because I’m putting my whole life out there, not in just the songs, but also in speaking engagements. Life can be tough, and my hope is to make it just a little bit easier for others by hearing songs of hope, explained Coburn.
Another battle resulted from her grandmother’s diagnosis of breast cancer. That battle resulted in one of her most well-known songs, “Pink Warrior”. The song is an in-your-face powerful battle cry for every woman, and every person who has endured the carnage of cancer.
“When something hits me personally, I can’t help but turn it into music. That’s one of the few things that comes really naturally to me,” mused Coburn. “I think music is the great equalizer. It doesn’t matter if you make it or just enjoy it. It has healing, inspirational power.”
It’s that ability to sing the truth that has brought her to share the same stage as many music greats like Brooks and Dunn Marshal Tucker Band, Montgomery Gentry, lake Shelton, Miranda Lambert, Gary Allan, Lee Brice, Pat Green Josh Turner, and Lady Antebellum.
Coburn was born in Kentucky, and raised in Missouri and Texas. She says her love of music came from her grandmother. Like most country kids, she grew up listening to gospel music, but her grandma’s home was also filled with Glenn Miller, Loretta Lynn, and George Jones.
“I think I knew from an early age that I wanted to be like those people, get up there on stage, and sing my songs,” says that spunky little girl, who grew into a spunky young woman.
She went to the University of Missouri on a vocal scholarship, and completed a degree in Theatre. After college, she began writing her own songs. Her iconic green guitar became her own well-known musical signature on stages in nearly every state in the Union.
One of the interesting stories about that green guitar was that her first one was heavily damaged in a car accident while on the way to the final competition to be on a show called Nashville Star. The Alvarez Guitar Company heard about her misfortune, and not only replaced that green guitar, but she actually entered into an endorsement deal with Alvarez. Later Carin Corporation took over her green guitar supplies.
Coburn’s first album was Enjoy the Ride, followed by Rev It Up in 2007. She focused on Southern Rock as her genre, and while writing and searching for music for Rev It Up, her friend and mentor, George McCorkle of the original Marshall Tucker Band offered to let her choose one of his songs for her second album. She chose “Fire On The Mountain”. McCorkle not only sang a duet with her on the record but also performed live with her several times on stage to perform the song live. She sadly lost her dear friend to cancer, but the memory of them performing together has been a sweet memory for her.
In 20007, Coburn became one of the first female artists to be sponsored by Anheuser-Busch as a Budweiser Concert Series Artist. Many other very helpful corporate sponsorships have followed including Texas Roadhouse Restaurants.
Still, the moment that she is perhaps proudest of is when she performed in front of 40,000 people at the Susan G. Komen Global Race for the Cure on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. in 2009 and 2010.
After years of performing over 100 shows per year with a full crew, tour bus, and lots of time away from home, she has settled now to the place she feels she was always meant to be…Austin, Texas.
“I loved my life touring the country, but my kids grew up around this business, and I would not change the amazing opportunities I have been so blessed to have,” observed Coburn.
But she admits that somewhere in all that wild ride in the business, she lost a bit of herself, personally and spiritually.
“Now I know exactly where I was meant to be in order to do music as a lifer. This is part of who I am, and I never have to stop playing or making music in Austin. There are no age limits or rules. I can write and play anything that pours out of my soul authentically I believe God is just getting started to use my story, use me, and use my music. I hope some people remember that I somehow helped them, or made the world just a little bit better for them,” the artist pondered.
“Will I ever have a number one single?” she asked of herself. “I don’t know, but I am completely fine with it either way. In the end, I’m going to have taken this wild ride, and at the same time I have shined a light in the darkness for others who have also gotten caught up in the stuff of this life like I did.”
All of that experience has brought her to where she is, which is on the cusp of a new day and a new cd, “The Good Life”.
“Producing this has been the most experience in both writing it, and recording it. I love the lyrics. They just poured out of me after I found this Good Life! I am so blessed and grateful to get to do this job. I am making a living with music, and teaching, performing, and probably most important, learning from others,” concluded Coburn. “When I think of my fans, I have to say I want to thank them for sharing this life with me. They are part of what has made this such a Good Life. May God bless each and every one of them.
For a woman who simply longed to be heard, she has to agree, it has been a great career.
And it will only get better.
Look for Coburn’s brand new website to launch July 1 at www.candycoburn.com and her new studio album, “The Good Life”, to be released on ITunes and other music platforms on July 27, 2016.