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Wolverton

"Faster than Betsy Ross, slower than Danica Patrick; these are the ways of Wolverton." 

--- Fidel Tasgarbo

Wolverton came about gradually through a series of performances in 2010 and 2011. Hills Snyder, during the open-to-the-public September 2010 installation process of his show Casual Observer/Causal Observer at the Blue Star Contemporary Art Center in San Antonio, Texas, invited various musicians to perform with him during breaks as the work continued. 

https://walleyfilms.wordpress.com/2010/12/02/hills-snyder-casual-observer/

Joe Reyes, who went on to become the band’s recording mentor, producer and part time performing collaborator, was among them, as was Jeremiah Teutsch, Wolverton’s original bass and fiddle player. Kate Terrell, who witnessed more than one of these Blue Star performances, eventually became one of Wolverton’s lead vocalists and sole keyboard player after whipping out an impromptu performance of The Wayward Wind at Hills & Caralyn’s annual Chinati Hot Springs December gathering in 2010. 

Kate and vocalist Caralyn Snyder performed with Hills and Jeremiah for the first time in March 2011 in the oversized bathroom of the unoccupied Alteza penthouse atop a big hotel in downtown San Antonio. This was ostensibly another art gig for Hills --- the space had been made available to curators Andy Benavides and Anjali Gupta --- but he chose to assemble Caralyn, Kate, Jeremiah and friend Michele Monseau (also an artist in the show), to sing and play in said ridiculously huge executive grooming facility. The three women sang in the 30 square foot glass box shower while Jeremiah (sink) and Hills (tub) performed en al agua. The tub also featured about a dozen floating teacups. 

The Blue Star performances with Joe Reyes were the seed of Wolverton’s first recordings. Invited by Joe, Hills brought 24 songs to the first sessions in December 2010 and January 2011. Recorded in an audio verite style, these songs were, but for one, first or second takes with Hills & Joe recording live and unrehearsed. 23 of the songs were released as Tiny Chair and Shores of Erewhon in 2012.  Caralyn, Kate and Michele provided backup vocals on two songs from these sessions, Night and E.S.L. One recording, My Name Is Time, was scrapped and re-recorded in 2016 for the Wizard Land album.

The Alteza performance yielded an after the fact late night first writing collaboration by Hills & Caralyn, the song Pool, and Kate’s song Wizard Land, written the day after. The band continued its loose formation by playing for the 70th birthday of Mayor of Southtown and Sala Diaz benefactor Mike Casey and few scattered dates here and there over a period of several  months, including a set of songs performed by Hills & Caralyn at the John Tevis Gallery in Paris, France, before the band really got rolling in July of 2012 with Wolverton Wakes Up, a collaborative event with a Guy Hundere video projection at Tortilleria La Popular. This evening featured the four band members revealed asleep in a bed and gradually tumbling out one at a time to their instruments. Wolverton has been gigging regularly ever since, including an appearance in 2014 on the Thames Estuary at the Leigh Folk Festival in Leigh-On-Sea, England, a set that closed with a rousing original arrangement of The Troggs’ Love Is All Around.

In December of 2015, Jeremiah left the band to focus on art and theatre projects, but not before contributing the song Nothing to an EP, Things Left On Earth, and Melville in the 2016 sessions for the Wizard Land album.

Currently, the core collective is Kate Terrell, Caralyn Snyder, and Hills Snyder, with our key collaborator Joe Reyes, and others who come and go, sit in, or otherwise join the Wolverton musical family. 

You can almost say the band was an accident and for that reason was the only thing that could have happened — though in many ways Wolverton was already forming via friendships by the time they played their first gig.

Wolverton writes and performs original music at the crossroads of generations of listening and is fed by various geographies of origin and diverse backgrounds that include art, theatre, dance, and poetry --- in addition to music. All these elements find their way into the writing and performing — and all band members contribute songs. Lyrically, Wolverton is unanchored, very visual and moving equally through memory, story, and association, with dark streaks of tradition. 

In the fall of 2013 they released their first full band EP, Horse Head Dawn, which was included in the FolkWorld Best of 2013 Editor's Choice list. In 2015 they released a new EP, Things Left On Earth, and were included in two compilations: Roots In The Shadows of San Antonio, Vol. 2 and The Active Listener Acid Folk Sampler, Volume Two. Their next release, Wizard Land, named for the greenbelt near Kate’s house, will be released May 20, 2017.

Wizard Land

“Approaching their songwriting with the carefree spirit of kids on a playground, the three core members (vocalist and keys player Kate Terrell, guitarist and singer Hills Snyder, and vocalist Caralyn Snyder) all take turns leading listeners thought the weird and twisting experimental folk journey of Wizard Land…In the rat race the music industry can be, even on a local level, it’s refreshing to hear a group that legitimately could care less if you think they’re cool or not.”

--- Chris Conde, San Antonio Current 

"After a single listen one can tell that the band is having fun and that fun is contagious...mescaline in the pocket."

--- James Killen, Houston Music Review

Wizard Land is the latest album by eclectic Texas based band Wolverton. Their brand of folk rock has elements of chamber pop, and sneaking cabaret/noir vibrations, especially in the dramatic delivery of the dual vocals and kaleidoscopic lyrical imagery. A basic, central sound of piano, percussion and guitar is fleshed out here and there by strings, banjo, theremin and other production touches. Wolverton's musical influences seem to range wide, from roots rock and Americana to broadway-style show tunes and classical flourishes.”

--- Josh Moss, The Modern Folk Music of America

"On this latest album, the songwriters are on top of their game influenced by folk, psych, pop, jazz and beyond yet retaining a sonic framework that ties every tune together wonderfully, each song perfectly formed and a delight for the ears. These influences though are just that, the band has their own identity, they cannot sound any other way, this is Wolverton, beautiful, great conversationalist and the perfect date for a summer afternoon."

--- Simon Lewis, Terrascope

Things Left On Earth 

“I really enjoy this San Antonio collective...there is not one ounce of body fat on this mesmerizing music, so whether an EP or an LP, I will leave it to them to decide how much of their excellent music they wish to unveil at one time.”

--- David Hintz, DC Rock Live 

“Mixing Americana, folk and Psychedelia, Wolverton have come up with a rather fine selection of tunes on their latest collection Things Left On Earth... I am really fond of Wolverton and this could be the best thing they have done so far.”

--- Simon Lewis, Terrascope 

“The underlying agitation is reflected in discordant instrumentation, which bleeds across the room like blood splatter. Wolverton then imposes constructs of interpretation which veer between abhorrence of the scene and awe at the beauty of the patterns…”

--- Tim Whale, Emerging Indie Bands

Horse Head Dawn

"For their latest collection Wolverton have become an entire band, giving their songs a rich full sound topped of with some excellent vocals that tie the whole thing together... Exhibiting a creepy Doors-like atmosphere, Pool is a highly effective slice of psychedelia... Over six songs, the quality and atmosphere remains high, great stuff.”

--- Simon Lewis, Ptolemaic Telescope 

"This is folk music that has that psychedelic sensibility with a sense of space in the vocals and the staggered timing in the guitar notes. There is some distant violin and piano punctuation that creates intriguing atmospheres and tensions, but the lead male vocals and female harmonies lead the way in these six songs..."

--- David Hintz, FolkWorld 

The reassuring vibe projected by the subdued vocals, the fragile harmonic nature of the arrangements, and the laid-back sensibility articulated in the plain-spoken songwriting all cohere to make this sweetly dulcet honey one to relish."

--- Jim Testa, Jersey Beat 

Shores of Erewhon

“Lyrically, they’re clever and sometimes baffling, like word of the day songs done by an obsessive compulsive.  Musically, they remind me of garage rock, a staple of the San Antonio scene, and a deep musical and lyrical thread running through both these volumes. I recall thinking, “garage folk” when first hearing Tiny Chair and through this aesthetic, I see Tiny Chair and Shores of Erewhon as two of a pair.”

--- Douglas Miles Clarke, No Mission Statement

Tiny Chair

"Wolverton’s got some potent, quiet music, and the recordings make you feel like they’re right there, reckoning the quirks of our heritage right alongside them. Contemplative, affectionate, warm and gently flawed, it’s roots music sans self-importance."

--- Sarah Fisch, Glasstire 

Calendar

  • 09/21/2017
    Lowcountry San Antonio, TX
     
  • 09/30/2017
    Radio Coffee and Beer Austin, Texas
     
  • 10/03/2017
    Liberty Bar San Antonio, Texas
     
  • 10/10/2017
    Liberty Bar San Antonio, Texas
     
  • 10/17/2017
    Liberty Bar San Antonio, Texas
     

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