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Asleep at the Wheel to release new tribute to Bob Wills
Asleep at the Wheel has always been quick to sing the praises of Bob Wills, but it'll do so in a whole different way (again) with the upcoming album, "Still the King: Celebrating the Music of Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys."
The aforementioned project will role out March 3, 2015 on Bismeaux Records, and is the Texas swing band's third salute to the late King of Western swing, following 1993's "Tribute to the Music of Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys," and 1999's "A Ride With Bob." With 22 tracks on the upcoming project, "Still the King" will include Wills signatures like "Trouble in Mind," "Time Changes Everything" and "Faded Love" … just to name a few.
Asleep at the Wheel gets plenty of company on this album, including the Avett Brothers, Old Crow Medicine Show, Pokey LaFarge and Kat Edmonson, all rising stars. Then there are the bigger names chipping in like George Strait, Jamey Johnson, Willie Nelson, Brad Paisley, Merle Haggard, Buddy Miller, Vince Gill's Time Jumpers and so many more.
Beyond "Still the King," Ray Benson told Rolling Stone he already has another giant of Texas music in mind for his next project. He intends on recording a tribute to the bluesman T-Bone Walker. "I see it being a Nat King Cole-Natalie Cole 'Unforgettable' kind of thing with every great contemporary rock and blues guitarist," he said. "Steve, Billy Gibbons, Jimmie Vaughan, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Duke Robillard. Anybody who's into it, I'll welcome 'em in. Give me a couple of years and I'll make that happen."
Hear "A LIttle Piece" of Ray Benson
He's practically a Texas musical institution and has been the longtime frontman of the legendary Western Swing band Asleep at the Wheel. But Ray Benson's latest musical project, which dropped January 21, just happens to be a solo endeavor with a friend or two along for the ride.
If you've heard the aforementioned album, you'll know that Benson duets with none other than Willie Nelson on the tune "It Ain't You," which puts a little twang on the project called "A Little Piece." The song is a Waylon Jennings/Gary Nicholson composition (there's the name-dropping again) that had never been recorded. The album also includes the haunting "Killed by a .45," and a cover of Randy Newman's "Marie."
Benson produced the album with son Sam Seifert and Lloyd Maines, using a backing band that included Asleep at the Wheel co-founder Floyd Domino, along with longtime Wheel drummer Dave Sanger and bassist Glenn Fukunaga. Consider it a warmup to the band's upcoming third tribute album to the King of Western Swing Bob Wills, which is due out this fall.
In the meantime, Benson and Asleep at the Wheel are plenty busy. Their ambitious tour schedule is not only booked through 2014, they've already got dates penciled in for 2015 (including The Country Music Cruise in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida). A mini-documentary was also recently released which "chronicles the improbable four-decade transformation" of the band into 9 time Grammy winners and cultural icons.
Asleep at the Wheel the Kings of Texas Swing (Updated January 16, 2013)
Their name may not hold the same weight as bands like Alabama, The Eagles or even The Oak Ridge Boys. But Asleep at the Wheel has been a rare force in the music industry since the 1970's, helping to preserve the classic sounds of country and western swing.
Formed in Paw Paw, West Virginia in 1969 by Ray Benson and Lucky Oceans, Asleep at the Wheel needed just one mention in Rolling Stone magazine to land its first record deal. Their debut album, "Comin' Right at Ya," bowed in 1973. The following year they were on the road (again) at the request of Willie Nelson and put down roots in Austin, Texas.
It wasn't long after their move to the Lone Star State that Asleep at the Wheel was doing the "Choo Choo Ch'Boogie" right up the country charts. It was their first single to hit the country charts, followed by their highest charting release, "The Letter That Johnny Walker Read." By 1977, the band was voted Best Country Western Band by Rolling Stone Magazine and was awarded the Touring Band of the Year by the Academy of Country Music.
Even as time passed and pop stars and crossover artists worked their way into country music, Asleep at the Wheel remained relevant. In 2000, they were nominated by the Country Music Association for Vocal Event of the Year for "Roly Poly" with the Dixie Chicks. In 2009, the group collaborated with the Nelson to release "Willie and the Wheel." It was nominated for a 2010 Grammy Award for Best Americana Album.
Asleep at the Wheel has earned numerous awards throughout their career. Most notably, the group was given The Texas Music Association Lifetime Achievement Award in 1996. They are still one of the household names in country music, and have a full slate of tour dates booked for 2013. "A Ride With Bob," a musical about the life of Bob Wills, plays the Zach Topfer Theatre in Austin through February 24. The band also has private and public dates booked through August.
Asleep at the Wheel Discography
|Album name||Release date|
|Willie and the Wheel||2010|
|Santa Loves to Boogie||2007|
|20 Greatest Hits||2003|
|20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection: The Best of Asleep at the Wheel||2001|
|23 Country Classics||1999|
|Ride With Bob||1999|
|Merry Texas Christmas, Y'all||1997|
|Tribute to the music of Bob Wills and The Texas Playboys||1993|
|The Swinging Best of Asleep at the Wheel||1992|
|Keepin' Me Up Nights||1990|
|Western Standard Time||1988|
|Comin' Right at Ya||1973|
Top 10 Asleep at the Wheel Songs
|Rank||Track Name||Play Count||Listener Count|
|1||The Letter That Johnny Walker Read||3,663||1,783|
|2||Hot Rod Lincoln||769||449|
|3||Miles and Miles of Texas||709||386|
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Past Tour Dates for Asleep at the Wheel
Asleep at the Wheel Tour Dates 2015
date city state venue 03/04/2015 New York NY New York Society for Ethical Culture 03/02/2015 Philadelphia PA World Cafe Live 03/01/2015 Annapolis MD Rams Head On Stage 02/20/2015 Dallas TX The Kessler Theater
Asleep at the Wheel Tour Dates 2014
date city state venue 12/19/2014 Beaumont TX Jerry Nelson's Hill Country and The Backyard Music Hall 11/16/2014 St George UT Eccles Fine Arts Center 11/15/2014 Carmel CA Sunset Center 11/13/2014 Snoqualmie WA Snoqualmie Casino 11/12/2014 Redding CA Cascade Theatre 11/11/2014 Berkeley CA Freight & Salvage 10/16/2014 Dallas TX Dallas Arboretum 10/03/2014 Austin TX Zilker Park 09/27/2014 Agoura Hills CA Canyon Club 09/21/2014 Buffalo NY Sportsmen's Tavern 09/18/2014 Annapolis MD Rams Head On Stage 09/14/2014 Ottawa ON Ottawa Folk Festival 09/11/2014 Shirley MA Bull Run Restaurant 09/10/2014 Ottawa ON Hog's Back Park 09/07/2014 Alexandria VA Birchmere Music Hall 08/29/2014 Scottsdale AZ Talking Stick Resort 08/28/2014 St George UT Eccles Fine Arts Center 08/27/2014 Bakersfield CA Buck Owens Crystal Palace 08/26/2014 Livermore CA Bankhead Theater 08/21/2014 Solana Beach CA Belly Up Tavern 08/15/2014 Colorado Springs CO Stargazers Theater 08/01/2014 Dallas TX The Kessler Theater 08/01/2014 Dallas TX The Kessler Theater 07/20/2014 Chicago IL City Winery - Chicago 07/20/2014 Chicago IL City Winery - Chicago 07/19/2014 Columbia MO The Blue Note 07/07/2014 Seattle WA Jazz Alley 07/06/2014 Portland OR Alberta Rose Theatre 07/05/2014 Grants Pass OR Rogue Theatre 07/03/2014 Spokane WA Bing Crosby Theater 07/02/2014 Boise ID Egyptian Theatre 06/07/2014 Arlington TX AT&T Stadium 06/05/2014 Kansas City MO Knuckleheads Saloon 05/11/2014 Oakland CA The New Parish 05/10/2014 Fresno CA Tower Theatre 05/08/2014 Sacramento CA Harlows Night Club 05/07/2014 Napa CA City Winery - Napa 04/27/2014 Indio CA Empire Polo Field 04/25/2014 Indio CA Empire Polo Field 04/25/2014 Indio CA Empire Polo Field 03/23/2014 Aberdeen NC The Rooster's Wife 03/21/2014 Orlando FL Plaza Theatre 03/07/2014 Alexandria VA Birchmere Music Hall 03/06/2014 Norfolk CT Infinity Hall 03/05/2014 Verona NY Turning Stone Casino 02/22/2014 New Braunfels TX Gruene Hall 02/21/2014 New Braunfels TX Gruene Hall 02/08/2014 Richardson TX Eisemann Center 01/26/2014 Vienna VA Jammin Java
Asleep at the Wheel Tour Dates 2013
date city state venue 12/29/2013 Jackson WY Pink Garter Theatre 12/21/2013 Galveston TX Grand 1894 Opera House 12/14/2013 Arlington TX Arlington Music Hall 11/15/2013 Austin TX ACL Live At The Moody Theater 10/29/2013 Ponte Vedra Beach FL Ponte Vedra Concert Hall 10/11/2013 Austin TX Zilker Park 09/08/2013 Austin TX Long Center for the Performing Arts 08/30/2013 Arvada CO Arvada Center 08/29/2013 Carbondale CO Performing Arts Center 08/24/2013 Franklin TN Franklin Theatre 08/10/2013 Telluride CO Sheridan Opera House 07/30/2013 Bakersfield CA Buck Owens Crystal Palace 07/28/2013 Santa Ynez CA Ranch and Reata Roadhouse 07/28/2013 Santa Ynez CA Ranch and Reata Roadhouse 07/15/2013 Austin TX Private Function 06/28/2013 Tulsa OK Cain's Ballroom 06/07/2013 Saint Louis MO Blueberry Hill 06/03/2013 Austin TX Private 05/17/2013 Sellersville PA Sellersville Theater 1894 05/08/2013 Stanhope NJ Stanhope House 05/01/2013 San Antonio TX Private Function 04/28/2013 Austin TX Private 04/27/2013 Cuero TX Private Function 04/25/2013 Dallas TX Dallas Arboretum 03/29/2013 The Woodlands TX Dosey Doe Coffee House 03/24/2013 Lafayette LA Grant Street Dancehall 03/09/2013 Cartersville GA Grand Theatre 03/01/2013 Richardson TX Eisemann Center 02/16/2013 Andrews TX Andrews County Expo Arena 02/13/2013 Andrews TX Ace Arena 02/09/2013 Galveston TX Mardi Gras Galveston 01/23/2013 Weirsdale FL Orange Blossom Opry 01/11/2013 Houston TX Private Function 01/04/2013 Norman OK Sooner Theatre
Asleep at the Wheel Tour Dates 2012
date city state venue 12/30/2012 The Woodlands TX Dosey Doe 12/26/2012 Los Angeles CA The Mint 12/22/2012 Stateline NV Harrah's Lake Tahoe 12/21/2012 Austin TX Paramount Theatre 12/20/2012 Austin TX Paramount Theatre 12/15/2012 Fredericksburg TX Luckenbach Dance Hall 12/13/2012 Abilene TX Abilene Civic Center 12/06/2012 Fort Worth TX Casa Manana 11/30/2012 Wichita KS The Cotillion 11/18/2012 Orlando FL Plaza Theatre 11/16/2012 Orange Park FL Thrasher Horne Center for the Arts 11/07/2012 Green Bay WI Oneida Casino Pavilion 11/06/2012 Green Bay WI Oneida Casino Pavilion 11/03/2012 Carrollton TX Downtown Carrollton 10/27/2012 Canadian TX Texas Crown Performance Hall 10/20/2012 Tulsa OK Tulsa Community College - Vantrease Pace 10/19/2012 Tulsa OK Tulsa Community College - Vantrease Pace 10/14/2012 Albuquerque NM Route 66 Casino 10/13/2012 Ruidoso Downs NM Ruidoso Downs 10/12/2012 Austin TX Zilker Park 10/12/2012 Austin TX Zilker Park 10/06/2012 New Braunfels TX Gruene Hall 10/03/2012 Fryeburg ME Fryeburg Fair 10/02/2012 Londonderry NH Tupelo Music Hall 09/30/2012 Alexandria VA Birchmere Music Hall 09/29/2012 Chester PA Harrahs Chester Casino & Racetrack 09/28/2012 Westbury NY NYCB Theatre at Westbury 09/27/2012 Troy NY Troy Savings Bank Music Hall 09/26/2012 Buffalo NY Sportsmen's Tavern 09/15/2012 Sherman TX Kidd-Key Auditorium 09/14/2012 Dallas TX The Kessler Theater 08/23/2012 Santa Ynez CA Ranch and Reata Roadhouse 08/22/2012 Phoenix AZ Crescent Ballroom 08/19/2012 Arvada CO Arvada Center 07/19/2012 Sacramento CA Harlows Night Club 06/06/2012 Grants Pass OR Rogue Theatre 06/03/2012 Portland OR Aladdin Theater 05/06/2012 New Orleans LA New Orleans City Park 04/13/2012 Milwaukee WI Potawatomi Bingo Casino 02/15/2012 Phoenix AZ Rhythm Room 02/10/2012 Wichita KS The Cotillion
Asleep at the Wheel Tour Dates 2011
date city state venue 12/17/2011 Austin TX Paramount Theatre 10/17/2011 Austin TX Frank Erwin Center 09/28/2011 Ann Arbor MI The Ark 09/16/2011 Austin TX Zilker Park 09/16/2011 Austin TX Zilker Park 09/10/2011 Webster MA Indian Ranch 04/22/2011 Duluth GA Wild Bill's 04/14/2011 Wilmington DE World Cafe Live at The Queen 03/25/2011 Phoenix AZ Rhythm Room 03/10/2011 Stroudsburg PA Sherman Theater 03/09/2011 New York NY B.B. King Blues Club & Grill 03/05/2011 Fairfield CT Quick Center for the Arts 03/04/2011 Red Bank NJ Count Basie Theatre
Asleep at the Wheel Tour Dates 2010
date city state venue 09/04/2010 Fort Worth TX Billy Bob's Texas 09/03/2010 Du Quoin IL Duquoin State Fair 08/02/2010 Evanston IL SPACE 08/01/2010 Evanston IL SPACE 06/26/2010 Houston TX House of Blues - Houston 05/07/2010 Austin TX Nutty Brown Cafe 01/30/2010 Chandler AZ Chandler Center for the Arts
Asleep at the Wheel Tour Dates 2009
date city state venue 10/24/2009 Nashville IN Little Nashville Opry