Nashville-based singer-songwriter and independent artist Candi Carpenter has released her own soulful version of Dolly Parton’s famed “Little Sparrow” today, Tuesday, November 26th, 2019. Carpenter’s rendition highlights her wide-range and powerful vocal ability while paying tribute to her longtime idol who has also become one of her biggest advocates. The captivating cover is produced by GRAMMY Award-winning singer-songwriter Brandi Carlile, and marks the second time she and Carpenter have collaborated.
“Candi’s voice is powerful and haunting,” says Carlile. “Her version of ‘Little Sparrow’ is emotionally compelling and chill-inducing. It is a privilege to produce such a talented and driven artist.”
Carpenter premiered her rendition of “Little Sparrow” to a standing ovation at the Grand Ole Opry as part of the star-studded celebration honoring Dolly Parton’s 50th year as an Opry member on October 12th. Parton, who has been a lifelong inspiration and musical mentor to Carpenter, was there to introduce her personally as she took the stage: a full circle moment she will cherish for years to come. “She is one of the greatest singer-songwriters I’ve ever heard, bar none,” says Parton, who also expressed her love for Carpenter on Twitter. “I became a fan when I heard some demos and said, “THAT GIRL’S A STAR!” I think you will agree.”
“‘Little Sparrow’ is one of Dolly’s most poignant and heartbreaking songs,” says Carpenter. “I guess you could say I’ve always seen reflections of my own story in the lyrics. Brandi likes to record live, and our final version is the first take we tracked, vocals and all. Her production has a cinematic depth and southern gothic quality that’s pure magic. I feel like she really understands the way I see the world.”
The performance of “Little Sparrow” was taped for the Dolly Parton: 50 Years At The Grand Ole Opry special airing on NBC tonight from 9-11pm EST. Carpenter’s performance will be featured among other music superstars including Lady Antebellum, Hank Williams Jr., Toby Keith, Chris Janson and more.
Carpenter’s cover of “Little Sparrow” follows the success of her Carlile produced debut, “The Astronaut,” of which Carlile shared, “While I was in Blue Land the wonderful Candi Carpenter released this special single that I am so proud to be a part of.” The introspective track was featured as the new country song of the week by Billboard, stating, “Carpenter’s vocals shine. Segueing effortlessly from a whisper to a belt, Carpenter is at the song’s forefront with delicate string features and a stomping beat.”
Listen to Candi’s cover of “Little Sparrow” here.