Ray Benson founded Asleep at the Wheel in Paw Paw, West Virginia 47 years ago. Now based in Austin, the band holds 10 Grammy awards, 20 studio albums and 20 singles on the Billboard country charts. They began with a simple goal: to play and help revive American roots music. The musicianship of Asleep at the Wheel has become the stuff of legends. Reuter’s pegged The Wheel as "one of the best live acts in the business." The Grammy Award-winning Album Still The King: Celebrating the Music of Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys is the band’s most recent release (2015) and marks their third full-length Bob Wills tribute album.
Taking a page from Bob Wills’ book, the band has constantly toured at a national level throughout its history; with anywhere from 7-15 of the finest players Ray Benson could talk into jumping in the bus to play a string of dates. The alumni roster is well over 80+ members and includes an impressive list of musicians who have gone on to perform with artists such as Bob Dylan, George Strait, Van Morrison, Lyle Lovett, Ryan Adams, and many more. Featuring 22 acclaimed collaborations, the all-star line up includes legends such as Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard and George Strait and newcomers like The Avett Brothers, Amos Lee, Old Crow Medicine Show and many other fine talents.
Asleep at the Wheel is bringing a fresh look and sound into 2017. Ray Benson fell in love with western swing because of its unique combination of elements of American blues, swing and traditional fiddling but also for its demanding musical chops. Western swing is what Benson calls "jazz with a cowboy hat" and is a thrill to hear live. Now traveling as an 8-piece band, recent additions Katie Shore (fiddle, vocals), Dennis Ludiker (fiddle, mandolin) Connor Forsyth (keyboard, vocals) and Josh Hoag (Bass) have instilled a newfound energy and their own unique style within the band. Between those Texas Twin Fiddles and Boogie Piano, you can bet you’ll be dancin’ down the aisles and swingin’ all night long when the Wheel rolls into town!