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Carolyn Wonderland (born November 9, 1972) is an American blues singer-songwriter and musician. She is married to comedian and writer A. Whitney Brown.

Carolyn Wonderland
Musical career
Carolyn Wonderland by Ron Baker.jpg
Carolyn Wonderland performing at Antone's in Austin, Texas (2006).
Background information
Birth nameCarolyn Bradford
Born (1972-11-09) November 9, 1972 (age 46)
Houston, Texas, United States
GenresBlues
Occupation(s)Singer-songwriter, guitarist
InstrumentsGuitar, vocals
Years active1990s–present
Websitewww.carolynwonderland.com

Contents

Early life and educationEdit

Carolyn Wonderland was born Carolyn Bradford[1] in 1972 in Houston, Texas, United States. Wonderland dropped out of Houston's Langham Creek High School to pursue her music ambitions.[2]

CareerEdit

In 1999, Wonderland moved to Austin, Texas; in 2001, she lost her apartment lease after her landlord became ill, and decided to live out of her van since she was spending more than 300 days a year on the road performing.[2]

Wonderland's instrumental abilities include guitar, slide guitar, mandolin, trumpet, and piano. Although primarily a blues artist, Wonderland likes to incorporate elements of country, swing, zydeco, surf, gospel, soul, and cumbia into her musical mix. She usually performs with Cole El-Saleh on keyboards and Kevin Lance on drums.

In February 2008, Wonderland released the CD "Miss Understood" on the Bismeaux Productions label,[3] and the title song has been on the Top 50 of the 'Roots Music Report' chart since the album's release.[4] Fans of Wonderland's music include Bob Dylan,[5] and Ray Benson, founder of Asleep At The Wheel. Benson produced Miss Understood, and has been one of her songwriting collaborators. Wonderland credits several blues and Texas musicians as influences on her music. One notable influence is Austin singer/songwriter Terri Hendrix, as Wonderland covered two Hendrix songs, ("I Found the Lions" and "Throw My Love"), on Miss Understood.

 
Carolyn Wonderland jamming at Antone's in Austin (2008)

Wonderland has been involved in a number of recordings, including several that were self-produced on independent labels. She was the lead singer fronting the band Imperial Monkeys. Wonderland released Bloodless Revolution in 2008, and is the primary singer on the Jerry Lightfoot's Band of Wonder Texistentialism CD with Lightfoot and Vince Welnick (Grateful Dead, Tubes.)[6]

Wonderland was a founding member of the Loose Affiliation of Saints and Sinners (with Papa Mali, Eldridge Goins, Guy Forsyth, and others), with several of her songs being featured on their Sessions from the Hotel San Jose Rm. 50 CD.[6] She was also the lead guitarist in the all-girl, southern rock band Sis DeVille (other members include Shelley King, Sarah Brown, Lisa Pankratz, and Floramay Holliday), and a founding member of the Austin Volunteer Orchestra.[6]

Wonderland appeared on Austin City Limits in 2008,[7] and has had her music used on NBC's Homicide and Fox's Time of Your Life. She was a headlining artist at the annual Rochester International Jazz Festival summer 2009 at the Eastman Theatre and New York. In 2003, Wonderland opened the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, after performing there for the previous ten years, singing the National Anthem with 'The Imperial Monkeys'.[8]

Wonderland also performs with the Imperial Golden Crown Harmonizers, raising money for local Austin charities, food banks, soup kitchens, homeless shelters, and on behalf of the legalization of marijuana.[6]

On April 6, 2018, Wonderland joined the legendary John Mayall's band as his first female lead guitarist in his 60+ year career.[9]

Personal lifeEdit

Wonderland married writer-comedian A. Whitney Brown on March 4, 2011, in a ceremony officiated by Michael Nesmith.[1]

RecognitionEdit

Wonderland has won the following awards:[10]

  • Best Blues Band - 1996 Public News Music Awards
  • Best Rock/Pop Album of the Year ("Bursting With Flavor") and Local Musician of the Year and Best Female Vocalist - 1997 Houston Press Music Awards
  • Local Musician of the Year & song of the Year ("Blue Lights") - 1998 Houston Press Music Awards
  • Best Blues Songwriter of the Year - 1999 Houston Press Music Awards
  • Gold Award - Flagstaff International Film Festival - Music Video Awards - Alan Ames & Assoc. "Party on Houston" featured artist 'Carolyn Wonderland'[when?]
  • Best Female Vocalist - 2000 Houston Press Music Awards
  • Best Blues Band - 2009 Austin Music Awards
  • Best Female Vocalist - 2009 Austin Music Awards
  • Best Female Vocalist - 2012 Austin Music Awards

DiscographyEdit

AlbumsEdit

Title Year Artist Name Label Producer
Groove Milk (1993) Carolyn Wonderland and the Imperial Monkeys Pulse/Montrose Richard Cagle
Truckstop Favorites Vol. 2 (1994) Carolyn Wonderland and the Imperial Monkeys Pulse/Montrose
Play with Matches (1995) Carolyn Wonderland and the Imperial Monkeys Big Mo Records The Imperial Monkeys
Bursting with Flavor (1997) Carolyn Wonderland and the Imperial Monkeys Justice Records Randall Hage Jamail
Blue Lights (CD single) (1997) Carolyn Wonderland and the Imperial Monkeys Justice Records
Alcohol & Salvation (2001) Carolyn Wonderland Mix-O-Rama Records Eldridge Goins
Bloodless Revolution (2003) Carolyn Wonderland Indie release Stephen Doster
Miss Understood (2008) Carolyn Wonderland Bismeaux Productions Ray Benson
Peace Meal (2011) Carolyn Wonderland Bismeaux Productions Ray Benson, Larry Campbell, Michael Nesmith
Live Texas Trio (2015) Carolyn Wonderland Bismeaux Productions Carolyn Wonderland
Moon Goes Missing (2017) Carolyn Wonderland Home Records

CollaborationsEdit

  • Drink the Rain (2001) (indie release) Rebecca Cole with Wonderland
  • Texistentialism (2001) Noah's Sky Music (indie release) with 'Jerry Lightfoot's Band of Wonder featuring Vince Welnick'
  • Sessions From the Hotel San Jose, Rm. 50 (2002) (Mix-O-Rama) with 'A Loose Affiliation of Saints and Sinners'
  • Fireside Songs For the Soul (2010) (licensed by Bismeaux) Wonderland and Guy Forsyth

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b "Carolyn Wonderland and A. Whitney Brown". The New York Times. Retrieved 2016-07-23.
  2. ^ a b "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2008-11-21. Retrieved 2009-04-23.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ Moser, Margaret (2008-05-02). "Miss Understood: Let's hear it for Carolyn Wonderland - Music". The Austin Chronicle. Retrieved 2016-07-23.
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2008-03-05. Retrieved 2008-03-26.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^ Margaret Moser (2005-01-21). "Review: Carolyn Wonderland - Music". The Austin Chronicle. Retrieved 2016-07-23.
  6. ^ a b c d "Carolyn Wonderland - Upcoming Shows, Tickets, Reviews, More". Jambase.com. Retrieved 2016-07-23.
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2008-12-19. Retrieved 2008-12-18.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  8. ^ "Sturgis Schedule". Sturgiszone.com. Retrieved 2016-07-23.
  9. ^ "John Welcomes Carolyn Wonderland to the Band | johnmayall". johnmayall. Retrieved 2018-08-16.
  10. ^ "Carolyn Wonderland". Hotbands.com. 2000-10-17. Retrieved 2016-07-23.

External linksEdit