Carolyn Wonderland

Moon Goes Missing (Home Records)

Texas Platters

For over 20 years, Carolyn Wonderland has strutted with ease as she reigns in the trades of singer, songwriter, and guitarist all at once. Back with her first studio album in six years, the Houston-born Austinite stomps trademark blues-rock in Moon Goes Missing. Once again, Wonderland turns troubadour, purveying the landscape of American roots music: "Open Eyes" stays local with 12-bar blues romps, the Ty Tyler-assisted "Hellfire Bitters" travels South through gospel/soul congregations, and "Swamp" journeys through the Delta's muddy water with slide guitar grime. Like her previous album Peace Meal (2011), Wonderland's latest taps other songwriters faithfully but with a curious and individualistic flair. Flipping the script, she takes Blind Willie Johnson's bare-boned jangle "Can't Nobody Hide From God" into a roaring, God-fearing affair, and George Thorogood's bombastic classic "Bad to the Bone" transforms into an insouciant acoustic burner. Counting Bob Dylan a fan, Wonderland's voice tosses and turns Janis Joplin wails in the beautiful epic "She Wants to Know." This isn't Carolyn Wonderland's first go-around – more like her 10th – so Moon Goes Missing strides with an assured confidence from the boom in her voice to the scorched wood of her guitar.

***.5

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