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.
Carolyn grew up the child of a singer in a band 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 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.
Along with the guitar and the multitude of other instruments she learned to play – trumpet, accordion, piano, mandolin, lap steel – Wonderland even thows in a whistling solo on occasion.
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.
The follow up, Peace Meal (2011), 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 recent comeback) and founding Monkee, Michael Nesmith.
2014 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 highlights include her first-ever New Orleans JazzFest appearance, appearance on Carson Daly Show, and a live album called “Live Texas Trio.”
Cole El-Saleh plays keyboards and key bass. His keyboard work can be heard on Carolyn Wonderland’s most recent three albums, as well as about a hundred other projects, mostly recorded and produced in Austin, Texas between 1996 and the present.
Rob Hooper was born in Dallas, TX and started playing drums when he was 11 years old. Rob started playing professionally at age 18. He has played drums for Jimmie Dale Gilmore, the Resentments, Seth Walker, Guy Forsyth, Monte Montgomery, and many more.