Texas singer/songwriter Carolyn Wonderland could be one of the big discoveries at this year’s Santa Cruz Blues Festival. Her big-time blues voice and guitar work, as well as her insistence on drawing inspiration from a wide range of musical influences, has made her a treasure around Houston (her hometown) and Austin.
But she’s also an activist, and perhaps her most passionate political commitment is in addressing what she sees as the injustice of marijuana prohibition. Her tune “Annie’s Scarlet Letter” is told from the point of view of a woman serving time for selling pot to provide for her young son.
The song has been used as a rallying cry for groups looking to decriminalize pot, and Wonderland has lent her efforts to such groups as the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) and the Santa Cruz-based Wo/Men’s Alliance for Medical Marijuana (WAMM).
“I strongly believe in the legalization of marijuana,” said Wonderland. “It should be a right to use it. It’s a plant. It should be available for recreational use, whatever use you see fit. And, right now, it would be a great boon to the economy.”
Here’s a vid of Wonderland performing the song live at an Austin benefit for groups including WAMM: