Review: Wonder Women of Country, Willis, Carper, Leigh

Texas-rooted supergroup sharpens each other’s sensibilities


A spate of shared bills brought them together, but the Wonder Women of Country have cemented their partnership with a kaleidoscope of throwback country soundscapes and intricate harmonies. On their debut six-song EP titled after each of their last names, the Texas-rooted supergroup – Kelly Willis, Melissa Carper, and Brennen Leigh – uses their combined prowess to sharpen and polish each other’s sensibilities. Each songwriter claims songwriting credits on two tracks, some co-written, giving listeners a cohesive but distinct tour through styles. The meandering steel guitar that lends Texas swing lilt to “Fly Ya to Hawaii” flows into barroom weeper “Another Broken Heart” seamlessly, despite the veer into Seventies country-pop. Leigh and Carper’s shared love of Hank Williams and the Carter Family shines through on the sweet, mandolin-driven “Won’t Be Worried Long,” rooted by Carper’s arresting soprano. A stilling reimagining of John Prine and Roger Cook’s “I Have Met My Love Today” closes the EP, the trio’s precise, clean harmonies intertwining over poignant accordion lines and simple, hand-thumped percussion. A delightful country buffet, Willis, Carper, Leigh pulls on the superpowers of three of the genre’s ever-dwindling purists. 

Wonder Women of Country

Willis, Carper, Leigh (Bismeaux)

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More Wonder Women of Country
Crosstalk: Kelly Willis, Melissa Carper, and Brennen Leigh Are the Wonder Women of Country
Crosstalk: Kelly Willis, Melissa Carper, and Brennen Leigh Are the Wonder Women of Country
Chalk breaks up, Big Sugar reemerges, Die Spitz shoots a music video

Carys Anderson, Feb. 23, 2024

More by Abby Johnston
A Drag Tribute, Eclipse Events Galore, and More Local Happenings
A Drag Tribute, Eclipse Events Galore, and More Local Happenings
Get your glasses and find your totality

April 5, 2024

Soundscapes, Bat Books, and More Arts Events for the Week
Soundscapes, Bat Books, and More Arts Events for the Week
Things to do when you're not staring at an interloping moon

April 5, 2024

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Wonder Women of Country

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Keep up with happenings around town

Kevin Curtin's bimonthly cannabis musings

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle