Texas guitarist, singer and songwriter Carolyn Wonderland has premiered the new video of her original song “Fragile Peace And Certain War.” The song — a hair-raising, lap steel-fueled barn-burner — is the lead track from Wonderland’s Dave Alvin-produced Alligator Records debut, Tempting Fate.
Wonderland, who describes herself as “a guitarist in a roomful of singers and a singer in a roomful of guitarists,” was recently called “one of Texas’ finest Americana guitar-slingers” by her hometown newspaper, The Austin American-Statesman.
The new video of “Fragile Peace and Certain War,” was directed by noted filmmaker Curtis Pollock (The Roommate) and features Wonderland along with friends Shelley King, Kevin Lance, and Naj Conklin performing the song at C-Boys Heart & Soul Club, the legendary South Austin roadhouse. There are also cameos by producer Dave Alvin (as the guitar-wielding lawyer), her neighbor J.C. Shakespeare (as the arresting officer) and humorist/writer (and Wonderland’s husband) A. Whitney Brown (as the farmer).
Brown and Wonderland were married in a ceremony officiated by Monkees co-founder Michael Nesmith in 2011, the same year Nesmith produced Wonderland’s cover of Robert Johnson’s “I Believe I’ll Dust My Broom” for the album Peace Meal.
According to Wonderland: “I had an idea of what I wanted for the video. So I wrote a script and showed it to Curtis, who ran with it. It was so much fun, in just two or three days, to see it all come to fruition. The song lends itself to visual interpretation and Curtis made it classy.”
Wonderland spent the last three years playing lead guitar in blues legend John Mayall’s Blues Breakers, and has now joined the Alligator Records family as the first female guitar hero in the label’s storied 50-year history. But that’s not all. Her spine-chilling, soul-deep singing matches her guitar prowess note for note. And she has a knack for writing songs that sound like instant classics. Wonderland’s signature, blistering six-string and lap steel playing, her intense vocals and her original songs melding blues, rock and Americana, helped her earn her status as a “must-see” live performer. She just completed the first leg of her North American Tempting Fate tour, with shows in Houston, Chicago, New York and many places in between, and will be back on the road in 2022.
Tempting Fate finds Wonderland delivering ten riveting songs, including five fiery originals and one co-write. Her vocals range from raw and fierce to subtle and gentle. Her guitar work, on both six-string and lap steel, is often explosive and always melodic. Producer Dave Alvin says, “Carolyn is unique, strong, soulful and sincere. She can pick and belt out the blues with the best of them, but her powerful, melodic vocals and six-string stylings are truly her own. Traditional yet innovative, tough yet tender, Carolyn always sounds like no one else but herself.”