Asleep at the Wheel
and Dale Watson: Texas Dancehall Tour
August 5 | 7:30 pm
Amphitheatre, General Admission
$49 GA Covered, $29 GA Lawn
Early Access Seating Available – More Info
Ray Benson founded Asleep at the Wheel in Paw Paw, West Virginia 46 years ago. Now based in Austin, the band holds 10 Grammy awards, 20 studio albums and 20 singles on the Billboard country charts. The Grammy Award-winning Still The King: Celebrating the Music of Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys is the bands most recent release (2015) and marks their third full-length Bob Wills tribute album. 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 2016. Now traveling as an 8-piece band, recent additions Katie Shore (fiddle, vocals), Dennis Ludiker (fiddle, mandolin) and Connor Forsyth (keyboard, vocals) have instilled a newfound energy and their own unique style within the band. Between those Texas Twin Fiddles and Boogie Piano, you can bet youll be dancin down the aisles and swingin all night long when the Wheel rolls into town!
Dale Watson, keeper of the true country music flame, latest album Call Me Insane, was recorded in Austin with veteran producer Lloyd Maines (Robert Earl Keen, Jerry Jeff Walker, etc.). The Austin-based honky-tonker carries on in the tradition of Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson with his Ameripolitan brand of American roots music.
Album highlights include Jonesin For Jones, a love song to the music of the legendary George Jones, A Day At A Time, about getting by by barely getting by; Call Me Insane, the albums moody title track; Bug Ya For Love, a fun warning to all the single ladies, and Mamas Dont Let Your Cowboys Grow Up To Be Babies. (Yes, it is an answer song to the Waylon Jennings/Willie Nelson hit.) Crocodile Tears is a tear-in-your-beer country song that sounds like an instant classic and Burden Of The Cross reveals Watsons serious side.
Call Me Insane was recorded in Austin by Watson and his ace touring band, His Lone Stars: Don Pawlak (pedal steel), Mike Bernal (drums & percussion), and Chris Crepps (upright bass & background vocals). Dale plays electric guitar throughout and Lloyd Maines added acoustic guitar. They were joined in the studio by Danny Levin on piano and the Honky Tonk Horns: Jon Blondell (trombone), Joey Colarusso (saxophone), and Ricky White (trumpet).
Having known Lloyd over 20 years and worked with him as a musician, I knew he was a great guy and picker," Watson says. "But having Lloyd produce your record is like letting your mom in your kitchen. You know youre gonna like what comes out and it's amazing how such basic ingredients can be made even better. He is an artists' artist.
The admiration is mutual. "I've been a Dale Watson fan since I played steel guitar on some of his early records," Maines says of the sessions. "My early musical influences are the same as Dale's. We both grew up playing real country music. Dale is one of a very short list of today's artists who still keeps it real country. I'm honored that he asked me to produce his new record. I think he knew that I would maintain the integrity of his passion for the music."
Dubbed "the silver pompadoured, baritone beltin', Lone Star beer drinkin', honky-tonk hellraiser" by The Austin Chronicle, Watson sat in with Jimmy Kimmels house band as a guest on Jimmy Kimmel Live (ABC) from SXSW 2015. He also emceed the first ever SXSW Ameripolitan showcase featuring the best of Honky-tonk, Outlaw Country, Rockabilly and Texas Swing music.
Since the release of El Rancho Azul in 2013, Watsons profile has risen considerably via appearances on The Late Show with David Letterman (CBS), Austin City Limits and The Sun Sessions(PBS) and as a guest on NPRs Wait Wait... Dont Tell Me. A veteran touring artist and consummate entertainer, he is on the road more than 300 days a year. He also put his money where his heart is and took over ownership of two struggling Texas honky-tonks, the Little Longhorn Saloon in Austin (home of Chicken $#!+ Bingo) and The Big T Roadhouse in St. Hedwigs (outside San Antonio). If not on the road, he and His Lone Stars perform at one of them each Sunday.
Dale has flown the flag for classic honky-tonk for over two decades. Hes christened his brand of American roots Ameripolitan to differentiate it from current crop of Nashville-based pop country. The Alabama-born, Texas-raised Watson may be the hardest working entertainer today and is rapidly approaching legendary status. He is a country music maverick, a true outlaw who stands alongside Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, and George Strait as one of the finest country singers and songwriters from the Lone Star State.