Candace Campana Stakes Her Country-Rock Claim with New Album

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Candace Campana’s breakout year will continue with an album-release show on Friday, Nov. 18, at Westside Bowl.

The Youngstown-based country-pop artist unveiled “Goodie Two Shoes Girl” last month. Her second album, and the first on which she wrote every song, it has garnered radio airplay and a lot of positive energy.

The album is a collection of 10 instantly likeable and upbeat songs with nary a clunker.

With “Goodie Two Shoes Girl,” Campana has staked her claim in the local music landscape, giving luster to an overlooked niche.

She has a fun but authoritative style and an uncanny ability to write ear-catching songs with straight-to-the-point lyrics.

While the album fits best in the modern country category, in the Miranda Lambert-Carrie Underwood vein, a rock influence colors every song.

The album has already spawned a single in the barroom rocker “No Average Joe,” and many more should be on the way, including the title cut.

Leading the list is “Played,” a rocking revenge tale told to a man who once beat her at the game of love.

Campana wears her heart on her sleeve on the bouncy “Chasin’ Benny” while belting out lines to irresistible hooks.

She sings with a bit of vulnerability on “Every Time I See a Truck,” then shifts gears on “Hay in My Hairbrush,” letting her country flag fly with no apologies.

The album has a big sound that rarely, if ever, slows down. Campana is very comfortable in the wide-open space between anthemic rock and modern country and doesn’t overthink it.

“People like different genres of music, so why can’t I?” she says. “I live on a farm, and I know the country thing from start to finish. But I also love rock.”

Her songs, she says, just come naturally.

“They usually come to me while I’m working or doing something else,” she says.

Campana had already picked 10 songs for the new album but swapped in two new ones – “Rise” and “I Don’t Feel Like Songwriting” – at the last minute.

“I brought them to Pete [Drivere, her mentor and record producer] and he said, ‘wait, there’s something here,” Campana says. So she recorded them and made room on the new release.

At this Friday’s show, she’ll be joined by Drivere on guitar, with Jesse DeLorenzo on drums, and Gabe Davis on bass. She’ll play the new album in its entirety, plus a few of her older songs and some covers.

Last week, Campana performed with a quartet from the Canton Symphony Orchestra as part of that outfit’s Divergent Sounds rock-classical hybrid live-music series.

Candace Campana’s new album is now available. Photo by Capture the Moment Photography.

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