Western Swing Band Asleep at the Wheel

April 15th, 2003 by Adam
Western swing band Asleep at the Wheel
will pull its tour bus into Plymouth State College’s
Silver Cultural Arts Center on Saturday, April 26 for a
concert starting at 8 p.m.

For more than 30 years,
Asleep at the Wheel has kept alive the unique style of
dance music started by Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys.
With a distinctly American combination of country western
and big-band jazz, the band has carried the music from
its origins in the 1930s and 1940s into the 21st
Century.

Since its founding in 1970, the band has won nine Grammy
Awards, including “Best Country Instrumental” six
times. The latest Grammy came in 2000 for “Best Country
Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal” for Cherokee
Maiden
off the Ride with Bob album. Asleep at the
Wheel has released more than 20 albums since the band started
recording in 1973. The latest, released last year, The Very
Best of Asleep at the Wheel,
features the band’s 14
most-requested songs.

According to band founder Ray Benson, “This is
improvisational music, which I think is the whole ball of wax,
because that’s where the rubber really meets the road — and
it’s why we play it. Part of the impetus for making this record
was touring with Bob Dylan last year. Every night, Dylan would do
those damn songs a little differently and that made it exciting
to see where they were going to go each night,” Benson
notes.

The band has appeared in two movies and in 1975 was the first
act to appear on the new Austin City Limits public
television program. Among the artists who have recorded with
Asleep at the Wheel are: Suzy Boggus, Garth Brooks, Tracy Byrd,
Vince Gill, Merle Haggard, Lyle Lovett, Huey Lewis, The McGuire
Sisters, Willie Nelson, Dolly Parton, Bonnie Raitt, George
Strait, Marty Stuart, Dwight Yoakam, Squirrel Nut Zippers, Lee
Ann Womack, Shawn Colvin and many others.

With nine Grammy awards, 30 million miles on their tour bus
and more than 30 years of performing, Asleep at the Wheel is the
undisputed champion of country western swing. So grab your boots
and scoot on over to Silver April 26 for a night of western
swing.

Tickets are $25-11 and are available at the Silver Cultural
Arts Center box office on Main Street. The box office is open
Mondays through Fridays, from noon to 6 p.m. and one hour before
the performance. Ticket information is available by calling
603-535-ARTS. If special accommodations are needed for persons
with disabilities, please call in advance.