Carolyn Wonderland – Texas Blues Queen – Live at Cactus Theater!
Sunday, October 15, 2023
Doors 6:20 pm Showtime 7:00 pm
FIRST CACTUS APPEARANCE – DONT MISS THIS LANDMARK DEBUT!
Mighty and joyous rock-injected blues luxurious vocals and fine guitar work. Her voice is as muscular as her name is evocative. Austin Chronicle
Carolyn Wonderland is the real deal. Shes an amazing guitar player. And damn, can she sing. Los Angeles Times
With incendiary guitar chops and raw, powerful vocals, fiery Texas blues rocker Carolyn Wonderland draws instant comparisons to fellow Texans Stevie Ray Vaughan and Janis Joplin. NPR Music
Hey, have you heard Carolyn Wonderland? Shes something else. She should be nationwide. Bob Dylan, talking to Asleep At The Wheels Ray Benson.
Carolyn Wonderland exhibits the depths of the Texas blues tradition with the wit of a poet. She hits the stage with an unmatched presence, a true legend in her time. Shed grown up the child of a singer in a band and began playing her mothers vintage Martin guitar when other girls were dressing dolls. Shed gone from being the teenage toast of her hometown Houston to sleeping in her van in Austin amid heaps of critical acclaim for excellent recordings.
Along with the guitar and the multitude of other instruments she learned to play trumpet, accordion, piano, mandolin, lap steel Wonderlands ability to whistle remains most unusual. Whistling is a uniquely vocal art seldom invoked in modern music, yet its among the most spectacular talents the human voice possesses.
That vocal proficiency was well-established in the singers mid-teens, landing her gigs at Fitzgeralds by age 15. She absorbed Houston influences like Little Screamin Kenny, Albert Collins, Lavelle White, Jerry Lightfoot, Joe Guitar Hughes, Little Joe Washington, borrowed a car to sneak out and jam ended up swapping songs with Townes Van Zandt. Her music played in television series such as Time of Your Life and NBCs Homicide. The Lone Star State was as credible a proving ground for blues in the 1980s and 90s 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, Austins blues luster thinned, but the city of Houston, always a bastion of soul and R&B, boasted the Imperial Monkeys with the effervescent Carolyn Wonderland as ruler of the jungle.
In the early 1990s, Wonderland & the Imperial Monkeys were invited to Antones in Austin. There, they were treated like royalty with the singer as the queen of hearts in the clubs post-Stevie Ray Vaughan stable. Living in Austin renewed Carolyn Wonderlands focus on her multiple talents, underlining rich vocals with excellent guitar work, trumpet, and piano, as well as that remarkable ability to whistle on key. A series of each-better-than-the-next discs began with Alcohol & Salvation in 2001, 2003s Bloodless Revolution, The Bismeaux Releases: 2008s Miss Understood, 2011s Peace Meal, 2015s Live Texas Trio; and 2017s Moon Goes Missing.
Her circle of musician friends and admirers broadened to include not only Ray [Benson, who produced Miss Understood] but also the late Eddy Shaver, Shelley King, and yes, Bob Dylan, who likened her composition Bloodless Revolution to a mystery movie theme. She appeared on the same taping with Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings when she made her debut on PBS Austin City Limits (Season 35) and had the thrill of her life when Bonnie Raitt joined her onstage for The Road to Austin concert film featuring Stephen Bruton and all his friends. She began co-writing with locals Sarah Brown, Marcia Ball, Ruthie Foster, Cindy Cashdollar, and Guy Forsyth; sat in with Los Lobos, Levon Helm, Robert Earl Keen and Ray Wylie Hubbard; and toured relentlessly for the past two decades, sometimes with luminaries like Dave Alvin, Buddy Guy and Johnny Winter, so far spreading her music in US, Europe, South America and Japan. She also claims membership in the all-girl Sis Deville, the gospel-infused Imperial Crown Golden Harmonizers, the Texas Guitar Women and the Woodstock Lonestars.
Carolyn recently joined John Mayalls Band as his guitarist and is balancing life on the road with writing time at home and on the way. Shes been touring for over 25 years and aint done yet.
Special guest artist to be announced closer to show date.
All floor and standard balcony seats….$20 advance; $25 day of show;
Balcony box (box includes concessions)….$40 advance; $50 day of show.