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.