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.

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CD reviews for Asleep at the Wheel

New Routes CD review - New Routes
The heyday of Western Swing music has long since come and gone. Sure, there are those that still keep the tradition alive and well, and there are those that are working to renew trails. That is exactly what Asleep At The Wheel is doing, with "New Routes." One of the beauties of Western Swing music is its diversity. It draws from swing, country, jazz, folk and even blues styles of music. With so much variety to draw from, the enormously talented band created a beautifully rich and dynamic »»»
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 »»»