A musical force equipped with the soulful vocals of Janis and the guitar slinging skills of Stevie Ray, Carolyn Wonderland reaches into the depths of the Texas blues tradition with the wit of a poet. She hits the stage with unmatched presence, a true legend in her time.
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"She'd grown up as the child of a singer in a band and began playing her mother's vintage Martin guitar when other girls were dressing dolls. She'd gone from being the teenage toast of her hometown Houston to sleeping in her van in Austin amid heaps of critical acclaim for fine recordings "Alcohol & Salvation," "Bloodless Revolution," "Miss Understood," "Peace Meal," and most recently, "Live Texas Trio."
Along with the guitar and the multitude of other instruments she learned to play – trumpet, accordion, piano, mandolin, lap steel – Wonderland's ability to whistle remains most unusual. By age 15 she had absorbed Houston influences like Little Screamin' Kenny and soaked up the Mad Hatter of Texas music, Doug Sahm. The Lone Star State was as credible and fertile a proving ground for blues in the '80s as existed, especially in Austin with Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble, the Fabulous Thunderbirds, Angela Strehli, Omar & the Howlers, and Lou Ann Barton all in their prime. By the following decade, Austin's blues luster thinned, but Houston, always a bastion of soul and R&B, boasted the "Imperial Monkeys" with the effervescent Carolyn Wonderland as ruler of the jungle. Her circle of musician friends and admirers broadened to include Ray Benson, the late Eddy Shaver, Shelley King, and yes, Bob Dylan, who likened her composition "Bloodless Revolution" to "a mystery movie theme." She also claims membership in the all-girl Sis Deville, the gospel-infused Imperial Crown Golden Harmonizers, and takes aw-shucks credit for inspiring Amsterdam's annual WonderJam.
"Carolyn Wonderland is the real deal! She's an amazing guitar player. She whistled a solo & even played the trumpet! And damn, can she sing." - Los Angeles Times
"One of the most impressively powerful voices recently heard anywhere, regardless of sex." - Matt Weitz, Dallas Observer
"A seething-hot Texas singer-guitarist. And she can write, too!... No wonder Dylan is an avowed fan." - Daniel Gewertz, Boston Herald
"Her voice can be as beautiful as an angel and as powerful as a Class 5 hurricane all within the drop of a hat" - Dante Dominick, Rockzillaworld Magazine