Carolyn Wonderland: Peace Meal

Album review
Carolyn Wonderland: Peace Meal

Carolyn Wonderland

Peace Meal

Label: Bixmeaux
Media: CD
Genre: Rock/pop

Co-produced with a roaring, richly textured sonic backdrop by Ray Benson, Larry Campbell, and Mike Nesmith, Peace Meal finally captures on disc all the fire, fury, and soulfulness of Texas blues dynamo Carolyn Wonderland’s live shows. After launching her new album with a swaggering reading of an obscure Janis Joplin original roadhouse blues, “What Good Can Drinkin’ Do,” Wonderland proceeds confidently through eleven other originals and surprising covers. Playing blues guitar and lap steel with her usual sizzle and nuance, she hits a high mark as a vocalist, with plenty of no-BS attitude (a growling, assertive vocal on her self-affirming anthem, “Victory of Flying”) complemented by warm-hearted testifying (a spiritually resonant reading of Robert Hunter’s hopeful, hymn-like “Golden Stairs”). There’s more: on her funky soul workout “Only God Knows When,” Wonderland conjures a tent revival spirit with her throaty, Wynonna- like vocal and howling lap steel, buttressed by Cole El-Saleh’s rollicking piano and a robust female chorus; and though clearly besotted by the blues, she gives her warm shuffle “Shine On” a moving country ballad treatment. Kudos to a production team for harnessing her live power in a dynamic studio setting, and to Wonderland for delivering at every turn. 

More Info

  • primary artist, Carolyn Wonderland
  • CD

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