Carolyn Wonderland (born Carolyn Bradford in 1972, Houston, Texas) is an American blues singer, songwriter, musician and is married to comedian A. Whitney Brown.
Wonderland dropped out of Houston's Langham Creek High School to pursue her music ambitions in 1999 and moved to Austin, Texas. In 2001, she lost her apartment lease after her landlord became ill, and decided to live out of her van since she was spending more than 300 days a year on the road performing.
Her instrumental abilities include guitar, slide guitar, mandolin, trumpet, and piano. Although primarily a blues artist, Wonderland likes to incorporate elements of country, swing, zydeco, surf, gospel, soul, and cumbia into her musical mix.
In February 2008, Wonderland released the CD "Miss Understood" on the Bismeaux Productions label, and the title song has been on the Top 50 of the 'Roots Music Report' chart since the album's release. Wonderland credits several blues and Texas musicians as influences on her music. One notable influence is Austin singer/songwriter Terri Hendrix, as Wonderland covered two Hendrix songs, ("I Found the Lions" and "Throw My Love"), on Miss Understood.
Wonderland has been involved in a number of recordings, including several that were self-produced on independent labels. She was the lead singer fronting the band "Imperial Monkeys". Wonderland released "Bloodless Revolution" in 2008, and is the primary singer on Jerry Lightfoot's 'Band of Wonder' "Texistentialism" CD with Lightfoot and Vince Welnick (Grateful Dead, Tubes.) She was also the lead guitarist in the all-girl, southern rock band "Sis DeVille", and a founding member of the "Austin Volunteer Orchestra".
Wonderland appeared on Austin City Limits in 2008, and has had her music used on NBC's "Homicide" and Fox's "Time of Your Life". She was a headlining artist at the annual Rochester International Jazz Festival in summer 2009 at the Eastman Theatre in New York. In 2003, Wonderland opened the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, after performing there for the previous ten years, singing the National Anthem with "The Imperial Monkeys".
Wonderland also performs with the "Imperial Golden Crown Harmonizers", raising money for local Austin charities, food banks, soup kitchens, homeless shelters, and on behalf of the legalization of marijuana.
- Best Female Vocalist - 2012 Austin Music Awards
- Best Female Vocalist - 2009 Austin Music Awards
- Best Blues Band - 2009 Austin Music Awards
- Best Female Vocalist - 2000 Houston Press Music Awards
- Gold Award - Flagstaff International Film Festival - Music Video Awards - Alan Ames &Assoc. "Party on Houston" featured artist 'Carolyn Wonderland'
- Best Blues Songwriter of the Year - 1999 Houston Press Music Awards
- Local Musician of the Year & song of the Year ("Blue Lights") - 1998 Houston Press Music Awards
- Best Rock/Pop Album of the Year ("Bursting With Flavor ") and Local Musician of the Year and Best Female Vocalist - 1997 Houston Press Music Awards
- Best Blues Band - 1996 Public News Music Awards
|Groove Milk||(1993)||Carolyn Wonderland and the Imperial Monkeys||Pulse/Montrose||Richard Cagle|
|Truckstop Favorites Vol. 2||(1994)||Carolyn Wonderland and the Imperial Monkeys||Pulse/Montrose|
|Play with Matches||(1995)||Carolyn Wonderland and the Imperial Monkeys||Big Mo Records||The Imperial Monkeys|
|Bursting with Flavor||(1997)||Carolyn Wonderland and the Imperial Monkeys||Justice Records||Randall Hage Jamail|
|Blue Lights (CD single)||(1997)||Carolyn Wonderland and the Imperial Monkeys||Justice Records|
|Alcohol & Salvation||(2001)||Carolyn Wonderland||Mix-O-Rama Records||Eldridge Goins|
|Bloodless Revolution||(2003)||Carolyn Wonderland||Indie release||Stephen Doster|
|Miss Understood||(2008)||Carolyn Wonderland||Bismeaux Productions||Ray Benson|
|Peace Meal||(2011)||Carolyn Wonderland||Bismeaux Productions||Ray Benson, Larry Campbell, Michael Nesmith|
|Live Texas Trio||(2015)||Carolyn Wonderland||Bismeaux Productions||Carolyn Wonderland|
|Moon Goes Missing||(2017)||Carolyn Wonderland||Home Records|
|Tempting Fate||(2021)||Carolyn Wonderland||Alligator Records||Dave Alvin|
(Carolyn Wonderland at Wilmington's Riverfront Blues Festival in 2014)