Updated: Apr 18, 2021
Washington native Cort Carpenter has quite the impressive resume, despite being an indie artist. Carpenter has released three albums, grew a huge social media following and opened for country music titans like Blake Shelton and Carrie Underwood. Carpenter's mix of raw talent and can do attitude sets him apart in the ever growing Indie Country space. After an accident put his baseball dreams on hold, Cort won't take no for an answer in country music. Cort can really give a soulful acoustic performance and do it up big just under the lights. Cort Carpenter is ready to put down his boots and grind.
Check Out Our IGTV Interview At https://www.instagram.com/tv/CNOOvO5CCIj/
We both love George Strait, but to elaborate, we both love his song Troubadour. What was your first taste of George Strait and how did that kickstart this love of country music for you?
I think I was 11 years old or 12. I had a buddy and his family was really in the country. My family listened to a lot of oldies, but country wasn't on the radar yet. We would listen to Garth and stuff like that, but it was mostly oldies and The Beatles. My buddy Ben, he always had country playing They had an old George Strait CD on and that's the first time I can remember clearly the feeling of loving the music. The CD was called Blue Clear Sky that's what hooked me right there.
I'm a really big believer in God moments and that our paths can be changed. So how was your path changed and that kind of led you down this amazing new path with country music?
I came from a sports oriented family, my dad's football coach in high school and mom's a cheerleading coach. I was a three sport athlete. The quarterback, the main point guard, the home run hitter, not bragging, but people knew me for sports. I went on to college for baseball, I got scholarship. After college baseball was done, I was in between going to get a real job and potentially getting picked up in a free agent scenario. I had a few opportunities presented to me to go play. However weeks before I got in a car accident. I hate to always talk about that, but it is apart of my journey.
I wasn't able to perform at baseball because my back was messed up enough for long enough. But then I had to figure out what was next. In between that time and finally landing a job, I started singing locally back home in Washington. That's when someone came up to me and said, "Hey, you know, you really got some here." I was singing at karaoke bars, local competitions, just for fun. I wasn't trying to be a singer or anything. I was just having fun with it, but that's kind of where it exploded. After that, we ran with it and I couldn't be happier with where we're at.
Talk to me about some of the triumphs you've had as an independent artist, and how you've just had to be creative as an independent country artist.
That's a great question. I always can attribute it to just persistence. You know, grinding when you're unsigned, it's very difficult to get on a big festival stage. Getting booked at certain places is hard because these booking agents and festival owners, they want people who can draw a crowd. Which we can draw a crowd. However, if they've never heard of us, like “Who is Cort” they want your stats and you present them to them.
The people that take chances on us and have us come play their festivals have always been happy after. Afterwards they said, “Man, brought it, we can't wait to have you back.” I've been fortunate in that way. I love proving people wrong.That kind of lights a fire under me and that probably comes from sports. And my background just being very competitive.
Who are some other creatives in the country world helping you on your journey?
Well I've been fortunate enough over the years, to meet some great people. I've met people playing shows just randomly. I've met people at Honky-Tonks, whom now I consider close friends. I can't forget the angel investors that have helped me move forward on track. They have helped fund touring equipment, a bus, or recording funds. A big shout out to all of them. But one person in the scene a couple of years ago. I recorded a song called “Safe Zone” and that was with DJ Silver. I got to work with him and his crew for awhile. It was really cool to connect with him Hopefully I can, again, for a future track. If you haven't heard that one, its country meets EDM its pretty cool. I also really enjoy EDM music.
I know you and your wife are expecting your first baby! How has becoming a father changed how you do music?
So that's a really good question. If you look at like Brett Young, he has the song for his daughter “Lady”. About two months ago, a crew got together with me and we had some ideas thrown around.
In the first verse I'm talking about a future kid, speaking to him or her, and giving them advice. We're hoping that really ignites the song where people are like, "Oh man, it just makes me cry when I want to hear that." I hope it reminds people of a special time. I know that's the goal to any song you put out, but we really are hoping this one connects with people.
I guess I will announce it right now for the first time it's called “The Road”. My wife and my parents and others are the only ones really heard it and they're all crying about it. So it's doing its job so far. I want the listener to cry too! That's what I want.
Why do you love country music?
It's the lyrics of course. It just makes you feel something. You got the acoustic guitar that's can be emotional. Ever since I heard that first George Strait, I was hooked. Even though my music is not so much traditional George Strait, I still have those vibes and a lot of my songs. Those guys are idols for me.
What is something that you and you were able to do in 2020 with your music that you would now like to see continue throughout your career?
Getting off the road and being a weekend warrior. You're able to kind of sit back. I haven't been writing as much as I should. I've really evaluated where my career is sitting at the time. I thought 2020 was productive in that way. It led me to some new things, meeting new people, new connections. I hated 2020 but I was proud of how I got creative and responded to it. We did a lot of livestreams.
Luckily I got a really awesome fan base who shows up every other week. You look at a lot of other artists who are out there trying to livestream, and it's just not the same. I’m really grateful for the fans that I have. They show up request and they've been able to keep us afloat. So going back to your question is the livestream. I hope those continue in a way. I think they will maybe not as many because people are probably ready to go see live music again in person, obviously. But I hope hopefully those are, those are things that, you know, we can rely on more where we can count on people showing up to as well if needed.
Lets chat about your new song “Small Towners” and the great growth it has had since its release.
Yeah, it’s starting to take off a little bit. But the song itself was written by the Cadillac Three. You're familiar with them Jaron Johnson, Neil Mason and Matt Sherman is also the other writer and has been managing my, my career right now. He's the third writer on that. I was presented the song last July. I remember being out in the boat, going through some songs and he sent it to me, Matt sent it to me and I said, man, I got it.
There's something about it that really connects with small towners. Whether you're from a tiny town or, you know, just outside of Seattle. Those towns are still to me considered small towns. You know, I just wish more people could hear it. That is one frustrating this releasing a new song as an indie country artist. Navigating a new release. But I am so proud of this song and know it will get me where I want to be as a country artist! I am grateful to have this song on my roster!