Carolyn Wonderland Brings Texas Heat On New Album ‘Tempting Fate’
Austin360 on file is a weekly roundup of new, recent and upcoming releases from local and associated recording artists in Austin.
Released this week
Carolyn Wonderland, “Tempting Fate” (Alligator). One of Texas’ best American guitarists of the past three decades, Wonderland returns with her debut album since the famous “Moon Goes Missing” of 2017. Two auspicious developments: She is now on the famous indie blues label Alligator Records, and she recruited Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Dave Alvin as a producer.
The result is arguably the best of his dozen outings. Wonderland crosses from blues to country to rock & roll and beyond on these 10 songs, which include six originals as well as top covers from Bob Dylan, Jerry Garcia and Billy Joe Shaver.
Wonderland also serves as “The Laws Must Change” by legendary British blues master John Mayall, in whose group she has performed for the past three years. It’s one of two sharp political numbers here, with Wonderland’s “Fragile Peace and Certain War” opening the album with a fiery slide guitar punch.
Perhaps because of Alvin’s recent collaborations with Jimmie Dale Gilmore, the Flatlanders troubadour presents himself as a duo in a deeply moving rendition of “It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry” by Bob Dylan. Other contributors include Wonderland’s close companions, Marcia Ball, Shelley King and Cindy Cashdollar; organist Red Young, known for his work with Delbert McClinton and others; and the rhythm section of bassist Bobby Perkins and Kevin Lance.
Performing October 23 at the Old Settler’s Music Festival. Here is the track “Texas Girl and Her Boots”:
Go Fever, “Velvet Fist” (Nine Mile). Recorded at Radio Milk Studios in White Denim with producer engineer Jim Vollentine, these nine songs extend the sharp-edged, pop sound that Go Fever has perfected over the past decade as one of the standard bearers of Austin’s indie scene. Australian singer Acey Monaro and bassist Ben Burdick remain the core of the group, this time supported by guitarists Keith Lough and Josh Merry as well as drummer Stijn Dubbledare.
Block party for the album’s release on October 9 outside Blk Vinyl (2506 E. Sixth St.). Here is the video for “NYE15”:
Invincible Czars, EP “Ain’t Talkin ” Bout Love”. Scheduled for the first anniversary of Eddie Van Halen’s death, this four-song set features inventive covers of Van Halen’s tunes “Dance the Night Away”, “Ain’t Talkin ” bout Love” and “Little Guitars” plus an original track by band member Josh Robins titled “126” as a tribute to the late guitar hero. Here is the video for “Petites guitares”:
OCT. 14: Buenos diaz, “Living at Bobo’s”
OCT. 15: Nichols Ox, eponymous (Fat Possum)
OCT. 15: David Beck’s Tejano weekend, “Vol. II”
OCT. 15: Sarah and Sundays, “The Living End”
OCT. 15: Ben balmer, “Honky-Tonk Macbeth”, released October 15 at the Saxon Pub
OCT. 22: Sue foley, “Pinky’s Blues”, pre-release show October 15 at Antone’s
OCT. 29: Natalie Jane Hill, “Only” (Dear Life)
NOV. 5: Matt the electrician, “We imagined an end”
NOV. 19: Willie Nelson family, eponymous (Heritage)
NOVEMBER: Walter Daniels and the Trustees of Del Valle, “Take a coffee break with”
DEC. 3: Jason Boland and the Stragglers, “The light saw me” (Trente Tigres)
More Austin360 on disk:
OCT. 1:Asleep at the wheel, Strand of Oaks, homage to Walter Hyatt
SEPTEMBER 24:Jackie Venson, Tony Kamel, Hong Kong Wigs
SEVEN. 17:Rod Gator, Jimmie Vaughan, Pulkingham Layne, Foxtales