A musical force equipped with the soulful vocals of Janis and the guitar slinging skills of Stevie Ray Vaughan, Carolyn Wonderland is an innovative musical force grounded in the Texas blues tradition. She grew up in Houston Texas (a bastion of soul and R&B) where her band Imperial Monkeys won just about every music award available in the city while still a teenager. She moved to Austin in the 1990’s and has been on the road touring the world since. Carolyn has won awards for best blues band and best female vocalist in Austin and states, “I moved to the land of free guitar lessons!”
Although primarily a blues artist, Wonderland likes to incorporate elements of country, swing, zydeco, surf, gospel, and soul into her musical mix. Along with the guitar, a multitude of other instruments that she may include in her shows are trumpet, accordion, piano, mandolin, lap steel and her amazing ability to whistle. Carolyn’s diverse songwriting, soulful vocals, and guitar goddess status are featured on over twenty CDs, seven of which are her releases. These CDs include Alcohol and Salvation (2001), Bloodless Revolution (2003), Miss Understood (2008), Peace Meal (2011), and Live Texas Trio (2015) her latest set of live recordings from three Texas stages. She also claims membership in the all-girl southern rock band Sis Deville band, the gospel-infused Imperial Crown Golden Harmonizers (which raises money for Austin charities), and takes credit for inspiring Amsterdam’s annual WonderJam. Her band includes Cole El Saleh on keyboards and Kevin Lance on drums.
Holiday Harp Blowdown with Back Bay Betty
Back Bay Betty is opening the holiday show. The band will be backing four of the county’s finest harmonica players in this lively hour of pure harp heaven. Special guest players are Rick Munoz and Craig “Big Daddy” Louis Dingman from Code Blues, Kevin McKracken from the Stratotones, Dan Kulijan from The Lifters and Jay and the City Boys, and Johnny Johnson from Back Bay Betty.
Back Bay Betty is an energetic five-piece dance band from Morro Bay that has a diverse blues/rock/soul repertoire including many originals. The group’s members are Linda Martin on keyboard and vocals, Casey Rodgers on lead guitar and vocals, Johnny Johnson on harmonica and vocals, Mark Notzka on bass guitar, and Carl Dybowski on drums. They cover tunes by artists such as Bonnie Raitt, Stevie Ray Vaughan, The Rolling Stones, Johnny Lang, Muddy Waters, Norah Jones, T-Bone Walker, Etta James, Paul Butterfield, Delbert McClinton and many others. Back Bay Betty’s dynamic energy on stage is infectious and is guaranteed to get everyone out of their seats and onto the dance floor. They play regularly at venues all over San Luis Obispo County. Visit their website www.backbaybetty.com and friend them on Facebook.