With a half century of experience providing the the most swingin’ Western Swing music for dancing, Asleep At The Wheel is set to swing the quarantine this Saturday night, July 25. The legendary band, fronted by COVID survivor Ray Benson, is throwing an at home dance party live from the Star Hill Ranch in Austin, TX starting at 7PM/Central. The event is a ticketed livestream virtual dance with AATW performing all of your favorite Western Swing classics.
Ray Benson commented, “We know that dancing is a part of life for our community. Although we’re unfortunately unable to gather together in our favorite dance hall or ballroom, we want you to find your dancing partner and boogie along with us virtually.” Ticket bundles include VIP Zoom meet and greets with Ray Benson and AATW co-conspirator Katie Shore as well as discounted rates on Asleep At the Wheel gear and apparel. The show will be available up to 7 days after the performance for on demand streaming.
Asleep At The Wheel have earned 10 GRAMMY® Awards, ACM Touring Band of the Year and received the Americana Music Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award. A revolving cast of topflight musicians has powered AATW over the past 50 years with the band’s alumni now numbering over 100. These include players who have gone on to work with such notables as Bob Dylan, George Strait, Van Morrison, Lyle Lovett and Merle Haggard. From inception, the band has been modeled and inspired by the eclectic Western Swing format pioneered by Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys. The band has released three Bob Wills tribute albums, A Tribute to the Music of Bob Wills, Ride with Bob and Still the King. Benson’s authoritative commentary on Wills and Western Swing was a key component of the Ken Burns PBS Country Music series. It’s noteworthy that, as of now, Asleep At The Wheel has actually been active eleven years longer than Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys.
In late March the peripatetic Benson had begun to experience flu-like symptoms that laid him low. Because there were no COVID tests available it was not until early April that he was actually diagnosed as having the virus from which he eventually recovered after several weeks of convalescence. He urges, “Please take this virus seriously! It’s for real. Please follow the safety guidelines out there. If you think or subscribe to those folks whose opinion is that this virus isn’t that big of a deal, please consider otherwise. Please use your voice to demand getting testing out to everyone NOW! Please send your thoughts and prayers out there to all the wonderful people putting their health and their families at risk defending ours. We all know someone or somebody who has lost their life to this virus and we have lots of folks currently fighting the virus and their families need your thoughts and prayers as well.”