Wednesday 16 Apr

Dustin Prinz - Eleven

Few musicians take the time to master their instrument in the way that Oklahoma City singer-songwriter Dustin Prinz has; he’s a guitar virtuoso in every sense of the word, and Eleven gives him the chance to show just how far he can push that skill.
04/15/2014 | Comments 0

Horse Thief – Fear in Bliss

Listening to Horse Thief’s previous release — the haphazardly melodramatic Grow Deep, Grow Wild — felt like a chore. Whatever potential the Oklahoma City folk-pop act demonstrated on the EP was obscured behind a formulaic, contrived and ultimately hollow cloud. But it at least offered a glimmer of promise for a band consisting of, frankly, five pretty talented dudes. Critics saw it; the band’s management saw it; its current label, Bella Union, saw it; and its increasingly fervid fan base saw it.
04/08/2014 | Comments 0

Colourmusic — May You Marry Rich

There’s always a sense of danger when debuting songs in a live setting and playing them well. Without having heard the studio versions, expectations are set according to the live incarnations. But capturing the breadth of free-flowing atmosphere and sheer volume on a disc, vinyl or digital file isn’t the easiest thing to do, especially for a band as vociferous as Colourmusic.
04/01/2014 | Comments 0

Em and the MotherSuperiors — Churches into Theaters

As titles go, Churches into Theaters is an apt descriptor for the debut album from Oklahoma City rockers Em and the MotherSuperiors. It’s a reverential record, one that shares the gospel of classic rock, blues and soul but embraces the need to refashion it for modern times, channeling The Dead Weather, Grace Potter and Cage the Elephant along the way.
03/25/2014 | Comments 0

Rachel Brashear — Revolution

Rachel Brashear’s second EP, Revolution, starts with a kick to the shins.
03/18/2014 | Comments 0
Home · Articles · Music · Music · Wonder woman

Wonder woman

Texas native Carolyn Wonderland lives for playing the blues. Just don’t ask her to fly.

C.G. Niebank February 16th, 2011

Carolyn Wonderland
9 p.m. Saturday
Oklahoma City Limits, 4801 S. Eastern, 619-3939

Many people might regard television-based talent competitions as a fast and convenient route to fame and fortune, but Austin, Texas-based blues singer/ guitarist Carolyn Wonderland has doubts about the value of such career shortcuts.

“I have an aversion to music as a competitive sport,” she said. “So I’m definitely one of those anti-‘American Idol’ kind of people. You know what? Go out and play it in clubs for 30 years and then let me hear ya.”

Wonderland, playing Saturday at Oklahoma City Limits, grew up in a musical household. Her mother sang with a band and plays guitar, while her grandmother played fiddle and taught her to play piano. After being loaned a cornet from an aunts, Wonderland taught herself to play trumpet.

“I cannot remember a time without either listening to or playing music,” she said.

By the time she was 15, she was gigging regularly with a band at Fitzgerald’s, a live music club in Houston that has hosted such music legends as Stevie Ray Vaughan, James Brown and Tina Turner.

More recently, Wonderland derives inspiration for her songwriting from many directions.

“Oftentimes, songs will show up while I’m driving, and I just have to wait till I get somewhere to write them down,” she said. “Sometimes, they show up in a dream, like ‘The Farmer Song’ was a guy in overalls standing there, playing a banjo, singing it to me, so I woke up and wrote it down.”

In 1999, Wonderland moved to Austin, where she appeared regularly at Antone’s and lived in her van, partly out of convenience; by then, she was playing as many as 300 shows a year.

Although she has been a frequent traveler for a long time, her experiences with airlines have soured her on flying to gigs.

“We so prefer driving,” Wonderland said with a laugh. “Any chance we get to not be on an airplane, we’ll take. I hate the way I’m treated. I guess I look like a stoner guitar player. Now, every time I get on a plane, I think, ‘Is my guitar gonna make it?’ I’ve bought a seat for my guitar, and it even has frequentflier miles, and they still refused to seat it at one point, and I got off the plane and said, ‘Well, I guess I’m driving to Cleveland — awesome!’” Wonderland chuckled as she described a recent airport experience, when her outspokenness collided with the intimate aspects of new “enhanced” search policies, as a female Transportation Security Administration screener began running her hands over Wonderland’s body.

“I have a big mouth, and these new touch-you-in-spots-you’re-notsupposed-to-be-touched rules really, really caught me off-guard,” she said. “My hands were up over my head and I blurted out, ‘Whoa, that’s fucking ridiculous.’ I didn’t slap her hand away — I stopped myself before I touched her — and as soon as I realized I let the F-word out of my mouth, I saw the police walking toward me, and I thought, ‘Aw, man, I’m not gonna catch this flight.’”

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