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Benson and band pay tribute, again, to WIlls

Monday, February 9, 2015 – Ray Benson & Asleep at the Wheel are readying the third installment of a tribute to the king of Texas swing, Bob bWills, with their forthcoming tribute album "Still The King: Celebrating the Music of Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys," out March 3 on Bismeaux Records.

The CD pairs AATW with other musicians in singing Wills' songs. Merle Haggard, The Avett Brothers, Amos Lee, Brad Paisley, The Devil Makes Three and George Strait are among the artists on the CD.

For more than 40 years, Benson and Asleep at the Wheel have carried on Wills' traditions. This album marks the band's third full-length Wills tribute album following 1998's "Ride with Bob" and 1993's "A Tribute to the Music of Bob Wills," with four Grammys pocketed as a result.

Wills (1905-1975) and his Texas Playboys performed thousands of shows across the U.S. for nearly six decades and recorded prolifically in the late '30s and early '40s.

"After 45 years of traveling and playing, it still amazes me how well this music, born in the 1920s and '30s, thrives in the present day," said Benson. "The artists playing and singing on this collection range in age from folks in their 20s to former Texas Playboys 92-year-old Billy Briggs and 86-year-old Leon Rausch...certain evidence that Western swing music is alive and well as it cruises through the next millennium."

Wills was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1968, the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1970, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1999 and the National Fiddler Hall of Fame in 2007.

Based in Austin, Asleep at the Wheel formed in Paw Paw, West Va. in 1970. Since their inception, the band has won nine Grammys, released more than 20 studio albums and charted more than 20 singles on the Billboard country charts.

More news for Asleep at the Wheel

CD reviews for Asleep at the Wheel

Still the King: Celebrating the Music of Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys CD review - Still the King: Celebrating the Music of Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys
Asleep at the Wheel have never shied away from acknowledging where their musical influence comes from. "Still the King" is the group's third tribute to the music of Bob Wills. While past attempts have been worthy acknowledgements of the influence of the Texas swing legend's music, this time around, Ray Benson and crew work alongside an unbelievable line-up of guest artists. The guest list is not only a testament to the legacy of Wills and his Texas Playboys, but also Asleep at »»»
It's a Good Day CD review - It's a Good Day
Asleep At The Wheel is joined by former Texas Playboys lead singer Leon Rausch on this western swing collection. Rausch, 83, who fronted Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys in the late '50's and early '60's, handles all the lead vocals here with ample help from AATW and friends. Amongst the stronger tunes are the duet with Willie Nelson on Truck Driver's Blues and the swinging version of Peggy Lee's It's A Good Day. Elizabeth McQueen of AATW joins Rausch on the »»»
Live At Billy Bob's Texas
Ray Benson and Asleep At The Wheel have been the preeminent western swing band for more than 30 years, and this live collection is representative of their best work. The expected signature tunes are here, including Bob Wills' "Take Me Back To Tulsa," Cole Porter's "Don't Fence Me In," and Bobby Troup's "Get Your Kicks On Route 66," as well as Benson originals "Dance With Who Brung Ya," "Boogie Back To Texas" and "Hang Up My Spurs And Saddle." At one point, Benson references the joke from "The »»»
Editorial: Walking the talk – When names like Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Waylon and the Hag are invoked, you're talking hard core country. These are the touchstones of country , the guys who made country music what it was and still is (or maybe can be). When these folks would sing about being down-and-out and the rough-and-tumble, they knew of what they were singing about. Fast forward a few years to the country singers of today. »»»
Concert Review: Kristofferson gives insight, but no easy answers – When they say music gets better with age, they're not always just talking about songs alone; sometimes they're also referring to the listener. When Kris Kristofferson sings, "Well, I woke up Sunday morning/With no way to hold my head that didn't hurt," to smartly open "Sunday Mornin' Comin' Down," he... »»»
Concert Review: No sugarcoating, Welch dishes out an experience – Gillian Welch (accompanied, as always, by master guitarist David Rawlings), celebrated her "The Harrow & The Harvest" album with a powerful night of music. She apologized many times for the utter unhappiness expressed through this album's songs, admitting it's "not the most chipper album" at one point.... »»»
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