Here Comes The Bride
Beloved Houston musician Carolyn Wonderland celebrated the oncoming arrival of South by Southwest (SXSW) last month in a pretty special way: By marrying her love, writer/comedian A. Whitney Brown, heading for Mexico on her honeymoon, and then arriving back in Austin just in time to perform at the music conference.
The ceremony, held at exactly 4:44 p.m. on Saturday, March 4, on Doug Sahm Hill in Austin, was officiated by legendary musician and onetime Monkee Mike Nesmith, who became a Universal Life minister for the occasion. The online invitation for the “Nuptials in the Park” promised, “Life is fast and so shall be this wedding.”
The wedding may have been brief, but it caught the attention of The New York Times, which featured Wonderland and Brown’s union in their “Vows” section.
Wonderland, who’s toured with acts like Buddy Guy and Johnny Winter and jammed with Bob Dylan and Eddy Shaver, garnered a ton of Houston Press awards (including Best Guitarist, Vocalist, Songwriter, Blues, Release of the Year and Musician of the Year) before moving to Austin, where she now resides.
She returns to Houston Saturday night for a show at the Last Concert Café, and CultureMap checked in with her to get her thoughts on marriage, her recent South By experiences, and what’s on her horizon.
“Married life is groovy and full of love,” Wonderland told CultureMap. “It also has the advantage of mellowing, giving one the strength and patience to navigate through SXSW with much ease.”
Wonderland’s South by Southwest was action-packed, from a birthday party for Asleep at the Wheel frontman Ray Benson that raised money for Health Alliance for Austin Musicians (HAAM), to participation in a three-day benefit in a dentist’s office called Mouth by Mouthwest for HAAM and MusiCares, to her official SXSW showcase at Antone’s.
And Wonderland singled out the Million Musicians March for Peace as “incredible.”
“Every year we do it, I pray we won't have to repeat it,” Wonderland said. “But as long as we're at war, it is necessary to have a voice for Peace.”
Wonderland describes her normal routine as “drive, play, sleep, rinse, repeat....“ but she said there’s more new music in the works.
“Cole El-Saleh (keyboards and key bass), Rob Hooper (drums) and myself have been working on the new CD (tentatively titled "Peace Meal").
“We've had the honor of recording in two of our favorite spots for this one,” she said. “We cut four tracks with Larry Campbell in Woodstock at Levon Helm's studio (and got to play another kick ass Ramble!!) and have returned to the scene of the crime to record with the amazing Ray Benson at Bismeaux Studios in Austin, where we previously recorded "Miss Understood.”
Life is fast, but you can look forward to a nice full-length set from Wonderland Saturday night at the Last Concert Café.
Carolyn Wonderland plays the Last Concert Café (1403 Nance Street) Saturday at 11 p.m.