By July 15, 2015 Read More →

Uncle Lonny Presents: Carolyn Wonderland Big Earl and the Cryin’ Shame August 29

Uncle Lonny Presents:

Carolyn Wonderland
Big Earl and the Cryin’ Shame

August 29
The State Theater
Doors at 7:00; Concert at 8:00
$24/$32
Tickets available at www.thestate.org or at the box office

Uncle Lonny describes Carolyn Wonderland as “Janis Joplin meets Bonnie Rait” 

There is a common reaction when people first hear Carolyn Wonderland, which is best summed up by the LA Times quote: “She’s the real deal.” Sure, there are lots of other pretty faces out there who can sing, and maybe they can even play a few leads on the guitar. But once you witness the raw emotional power and originality of Carolyn’s vocals and guitar playing, you are left wondering how it is that she is so much more musically convincing. Is it geography or musical lineage or life experience or what?

Carolyn cut her teeth in the same Gulf Coast music scene that gave us Lightning Hopkins, Clifton Chenier, Janis Joplin, and countless others. Sneaking into biker bars by the time she was 16, playing gigs with Little Screamin’ Kenny Blanchard and Jerry Lightfoot, becoming the toast of Houston town while still a teenager, hitting rock bottom in Austin with only an old van to live in and no gigs to be had, Carolyn’s journey has not been smooth or easy or quiet. It’s taken guts for her to survive. Perhaps this is why she digs so deeply every time she takes the stage.

Often mentioned in the same sentences as Texas legends Janis Joplin and Steve Ray Vaughan (references that leave the modest Wonderland “floored, humbled and thrilled”), Wonderland has shared the stage with the likes of Los Lobos, Robert Earl Keen, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Buddy Guy, Johnny Winter, Albert Lee, Asleep at the Wheel, Susan Tedeschi and Bob Dylan. Recording and winning awards in Houston and Austin since the mid 1990s, Carolyn finally gained wider recognition in 2008 with the album Miss Understood, which quickly reached the Top 10 on Billboard’s Blues chart. That same year she appeared on PBS’s Austin City Limits, enjoyed major profiles in national press and has since toured extensively across North America, Europe and Asia, performing in concerts, clubs and major festivals (including Amsterdam’s Wonder Jam, which she humbly takes credit for inspiring).

Clearly, Carolyn has not forgotten where she came from, even if it is glorious mystery to the rest of us. It may be the Gulf Coast. It may be from a musical tradition called Texas Blues. There’s a stubborn streak that has gotten her through the tough times and inspires her “take no prisoner” passion on the microphone. And she carries on the spirit of the musical legends who have taught her, in a voice all her own. She is indeed the real deal, and for those who hunger for good music, Carolyn Wonderland is a welcome feast!

Big Earl and the Cryin’ Shame

Modesto’s own Big Earl Matthews began his quest to sing professionally at the age of 19 after hearing blues legend Tommy Castro.  Six years later the first incarnation of Big Earl and the Cryin’ Shame was born in Humboldt County.  After five years, Earl returned to his hometown of Modesto, soon met Jason Finley and rebuilt Big Earl and the Cryin’ Shame.  Earl counts artists such as Junior Wells, Buddy Guy, Magic Slim and Big Mama Thornton as his influences.  Earl loves blues music and likes to say, “ Everybody loves the blues, some people just don’t know it yet.”

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Always up for trying something new. Obsessed with coffee. Loves to sleep. Bring on the rain, and a bottle of Wonky & Wry's Honey Braggot Ale.