Photo by John Kurc

April 2, 2015

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Carolyn Wonderland’s live album debut is here! Even with the success of studio albums in 2008 (Miss Understood) and again in 2011 (Peace Meal), those who have been fortunate enough to witness, Carolyn shines brightest in live performance, winning legions of fans with her take-no-prisoners approach to the stage. So it made perfect sense to capture that energy of her trio in a full-length album, and even better, to do it in a trio of Texas’ most famous packed houses, Antone’s in Austin, Kessler Theatre in Dallas and Last Concert Café in Houston.

“The reigning queen of Austin blues, Carolyn Wonderland sparks fire on guitar and soulful fury in the force of her vocal grit. Since 2011’s Peace Meal, reveling in Wonderland’s rough and raw Janis Joplin-esque howl and burn-down blues, she’s lent her impeccable riffs to a number of albums, including the LP from the Stooges’ James Williamson, Re-licked.” – Austin Chronicle


The result is Live Texas Trio and in addition to Carolyn, her bandmates Cole El-Saleh on keys and bass and Rob Hooper on drums, she invited guests Guy Forsyth and Shelley King on several tracks. Opening with a blistering take on Leon Russell’s “Palace Of The King,” the collection mixes a combination of tasteful covers (Doug Sahm, Blind Willie Johnson, Larry Campbell) with new originals (including one co-write with Ruthie Foster), and live versions of favorites from prior studio albums (“Walk On”, “Only God Knows When”). The evening wraps with a spirited rendition of the Ashford/Simpson “Let’s Go Get Stoned,” a fitting anthem for Antone’s Home of the Blues.


Carolyn grew up in a musical family and began playing her mother’s vintage Martin guitar when other girls were dressing dolls. She’s gone from being the teenage toast of her hometown Houston, sneaking her way into biker bars to sit in with Little Screamin’ Kenny, to sleeping in her van in Austin amid heaps of critical acclaim for fine recordings Alcohol & Salvation, Bloodless Revolution, and more recently, Miss Understood and Peace Meal.


Her breakthrough album release was 2008’s Miss Understood (Bismeaux). From appearances on PBS’s Austin City Limits to top slots at major festivals around the world, Wonderland’s album quickly reached the Top 10 on Billboard’s Blues chart and her live shows left a trail of screaming fans in its wake. In that same year, she also performed for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s Tribute to Janis Joplin, along with Lucinda Williams, Susan Tedeschi, Bettye LaVette, Nona Hendryx, and many more.


2011’s follow up studio album, Peace Meal (Bismeaux), was produced by a stellar cast including long-time supporter and inspiration, Ray Benson, and two-time Grammy winner Larry Campbell (the force behind The Band drummer Levon Helm and his more recent comeback) and founding Monkee, Michael Nesmith.


2014 was Carolyn’s busiest year yet. Highlights included key festival appearances in North America and Europe, as well as guest sit-in appearances with cohorts Vintage Trouble, and vocal performance on two tracks of James Williamson’s (Stooges) release of newly recorded versions of songs he and Iggy wrote in 1973 and 1974 called“Re-Licked” along with Jello Biafra, Mark Lanegan, Alison Mosshart, and many more.


2015 is already off to a great start. Highlights include her first-ever New Orleans JazzFest booking, appearance on Last Call with Carson Daly, and now her live record release. Carolyn will be touring non-stop through the year in North America and Europe in support of the release.


Track Listing:

  1. Palace Of The King (Russell, Nox, Dunn)
  2. At The Crossroads (Doug Sahm)
  3. Come Together (Ruthie Foster / Carolyn Wonderland)
  4. Only God Knows When (Carolyn Wonderland)
  5. Samson and Delilah (Blind Willie Johnson)
  6. Money In The Game (Carolyn Wonderland)
  7. Nobody’s Fault But Mine (Blind Willie Johnson)
  8. Walk On (Carolyn Wonderland)
  9. Heart (Neil Kassanoff)
  10. Cumbia Raza (Cesar Rosas)
  11. When I Go Away (Larry Campbell)
  12. Let’s Go Get Stoned (Ashford / Simpson)

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