Being ‘Wanted’ Grand Valley couple sells nearly everything they own to form a band, plan a tour and
Being told you’ve got a torn rotator cuff can stop you in your tracks, but for Joshua and Candy Carpenter it changed the direction of their lives.
About a year ago, the couple owned CJ Electric in Fruita and Joshua Carpenter was doing electrical contracting work in the area.
“We had that really bright green van,” Joshua Carpenter said.
But once he got the diagnosis that finally put a name to the pain he had pushed through for a year and half, he and Candy sat down and thought about what they really want to do with their lives.
They became life coaches through Klemmer and Associates, but realized that wasn’t change enough. So in June they decided to commit to their “deepest passion:” music.
They actually had been “dabbling” with music for about two years and had formed a band, Joshua Carpenter said.
This commitment took them further and resulted in The Band Wanted, which is not just a music group but a plan for a nonprofit and a mission to use music to reach people in places where bands aren’t likely to go, such as assisted living or nursing homes.
On Jan. 1, the Carpenters along with Candy’s daughter, Tasha Stacey, plan to hit the road on a tour through the southwest. They all sing and Joshua Carpenter plays the piano, Candy Carpenter plays bass guitar and Stacey plays the ukulele and drums.
A concert celebrating their mission and tour will be from 7–9 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 20, at Avalon Theatre. They picked the date so as to avoid the numerous events related to the upcoming holidays. Thursday also happens to be the Carpenters’ fourth wedding anniversary.
In preparation for their tour, “we’ve sold most everything we had,” Joshua Carpenter said. “As we got rid of things it was freeing.”
They found they can live on a lower budget because they simply own less and that has made for less stress in their lives, the couple said.
The Carpenters bought a bus and are renovating it for the tour, and they are going through the process of making The Band Wanted a nonprofit with a fundraising board.
The “Wanted” part of the name is purposeful for several reasons, Joshua Carpenter said.
First, theirs is a blended family.
“Family is not about blood sometimes. Sometimes it’s about people who want to be a family,” Joshua Carpenter said as Candy nodded her head.
Second, Joshua Carpenter grew up in a family singing group and saw the focus turn from loving music to making money and playing in the biggest venues possible in search of stardom.
With The Band Wanted, the mission isn’t to become famous. It is to be wanted.
The Band Wanted has played at a number of assisted living or nursing homes in the Grand Valley, and the “personal human connections” they have made have been huge, Candy Carpenter said.
Often those types of facilities don’t have the big budget for entertainment and few musical groups make it a point to play at those places, Joshua Carpenter said.
For those same reasons, they also are looking into opportunities where The Band Wanted can play at prison system locations or programs for individuals with brain injuries or development handicaps, the Carpenters said.
Thus there is the nonprofit mission of “bringing live music to underserved populations,” Joshua Carpenter said.
The Band Wanted wants to help fill that need, Candy Carpenter said.
Third, as a nonprofit, The Band Wanted will provide internships for young musicians ages 16 to 30 who want to get into music and want experience on the road with a band.
“Our role is mentoring and facilitating,” Joshua Carpenter said.
Stacey, 22, will be the first intern, and another is expected to join The Band Wanted by early November.
The Band Wanted plays a variety of old country, ‘50s and ‘60s rock, gospel, three-part harmony and a few current popular songs.
They play covers and some originals and have had a lot of success rearranging well-known songs, Joshua Carpenter said.
The band tries to play music “if it moves us and it moves our crowd,” he said, emphasizing “crowd.”
The Carpenters are hopeful some of those residents of assisted living or nursing home facilities in the area who they have played for will be able to make it to Thursday’s concert.
“We want to celebrate with them,” Candy Carpenter said. “It’s going to be fun.”
It’s a celebration of a “big step into our future,” she said.