Asleep at the Wheel

Asleep at the Wheel

Austin, Texas, USA
BandCountryAmericana

Over the last 42 years, Asleep at the Wheel has boldly defied the fickle lures of the mainstream thrived by sticking to their cause of keeping Western Swing alive and kicking. For their efforts, theyve earned nine Grammy awards.

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Biography

Asleep at the Wheel has seen miles and miles of Texas. They got their kicks on Route 66. And, in 2010, the band hit another milestone with their 40th anniversary. Now in their 41st year, the band continues to introduce western swing to a new generation on tour and takes audiences on the ride of a lifetime with their play, A Ride with Bob.
"Its been an amazing ride. From Paw Paw to San Francisco to Austin, we've seen it all", says Wheel front man Ray Benson. "But, rest assured, there's still many exciting projects in the works. The Wheel keeps rolling!"

The Wheel gets rolling

It all started when Ray Benson, Floyd Domino, and Lucky Oceans, along with a Vermont farm boy named Leroy Preston; Virginian Chris O'Connell; and Gene Dobkin, a bass player and fellow classmate of Benson's from Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio, joined forces. They began with a simple goal: to play and help revive American roots music.

Asleep at the Wheel landed a gig opening for Alice Cooper and Hot Tuna in Washington, DC in 1970. "At the height of Vietnam, many Americans were using their choice of music to express their stance on the conflict in southeast Asia. We wanted to break that mold", said Benson. "We were concerned more with this amazing roots music, which we felt was being lost amid the politics. We were too country for the rock folks and we were too long-haired for the country folks. But everybody got over it once the music started playing."
A year later, they were coaxed into moving to California by Commander Cody, but the band's big break came when Van Morrison mentioned them in an interview with Rolling Stone. The record offers started coming in and The Wheel got rolling.

80+ But Whos Counting?
"We're a dance band. That's what we're about. And that's plenty."
Ray Benson

The musicianship of Asleep at the Wheel has become the stuff of legends. Reuters pegged The Wheel as one of the best live acts in the business. 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, Van Morrison, Lyle Lovett, Ryan Adams, and many more. A quick scan of awards, such as Touring Band of the Year (CMAs, 1976) and Lifetime Achievement in Performance (Americana Music Awards 2009), not to mention near dominance of the GRAMMY Country Instrumental category over the years, reflects the reputation of the band's musicianship. 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, is a thrill to hear live, and thanks in large part to the Wheels 40 years of promotion, is a living and creative genre of music today.

On the Records
Everything this act has ever released is simply spectacular.
Billboard Magazine (2010)

Over their history, Asleep at The Wheel has garnered nine GRAMMY Awards and released more than 25 studio and live albums, and there is no sign of slowing down any time soon. Just last year they earned a Grammy nomination in the newly minted Best Americana Album category for their critically acclaimed Willie & The Wheel, on Bismeaux Records. Most recently, another collaborative project paired the band with the legendary lead from Bob Wills & The Texas Playboys, Leon Rausch. The distinguished velvety vocals of the King of western swing partnered with post-modern kings of Texas Swing on Its A Good Day, which USA Today called, "swing from the heavens". It was Leon who first suggested to Ray in the 1970s that The Wheel record Get Your Kicks (on Route 66). The Wheel has now recorded the hit 4 times in 4 different decades, with this latest version featuring Leon.

The Play is The Thing
The most entertaining night in Texas.
-Liz Smith

The Broadway-scale musical that started as a commemoration of Bob Wills 100th birthday in 2005 now marks its own milestone in 2010; 5 years. Ray Benson and Ann Rapp co-wrote the first-ever musical drama about Bensons idol, entitled A Ride with Bob: The Bob Wills Musical. At the core of the story is the conversation Ray intended to have when he was invited to meet with Wills in 1974, fresh off the Wheels release of Take Me Back to Tulsa. Unfortunately, that meeting never happened as Mr. Wills took ill and never recovered. For the last five years, the play has presented an inspired look into the life of a true Texas music legend.

Lyrics

Boogie Back To Texas

Written By: Ray Benson

BOOGIE BACK TO TEXAS
RAY BENSON
PAW PAW MUSIC

BEEN GONE SO LONG
I CAN’T WAIT TO GET BACK HOME
HOME TO THE LONE STAR STATE
ANOTHER DAY I JUST CAN’T WAIT
LOOK OUT BOYS I’M A HEADED YOUR WAY
I GOT A MIND THAT WANDERS AND A ’57 CHEVROLET
HOLD ON TIGHT I GOT A LICENSE TO FLY
WITH THE PEDAL TO THE METAL, WATCH ME ROLL ON BYE

CHORUS

WHILE I BOOGIE BACK TO TEXAS
WE’RE ‘GONNA BOOGIE BACK TO TEXAS
EIGHT BEATS TO THE MILE

ROLLING OUT OF NEW YORK, PHILADELPHIA, PA. PITTSBURG,
WHEELING WV ON THE WAY
ROLLING THROUGH OHIO, GONNA MAKE IT TO KENTUCKY,
‘GONNA MAKE IT BYTHEMORNING
IF I’M FAST AND IF I’M LUCKY
HOLD ON TIGHT I’M HOMEWARD BOUND
I’M GONNA BOOGIE BACK TO AUSTIN
BACK TO MYHOMETOWN

CHORUS

I FINALLY SEE THE STATE LINE STARING AT ME
OKLAHOMA CITY IS JUSTA MEMORY
FT. WORTH, DALLAS, DROVE ON BY
WACO NOW LESS THAN 50 MILES
YELLOW ROSE I’M A HEADED THAT WAY
I’M GONNA BOOGIA BACK TO AUSTIN’ CROSS THE US OF A

CHORUS

WE’RE GONNA BOOGIE BACK TO TEXAS EIGHT BEATS TO THE MILE
CAN’T YOU SEE I’M ON MY WAY-BOOGIE

Hesitation Blues

Written By: Traditional Arranged by Ray Benson

Hesitation Blues

Verse 1
woke up this mornin
lookin for my shoes
look behind the trunk
found the hesitation blues

Chorus
lordy tell me how long (lordy tell me how long)
will i have to wait (will I have to wait)
can i get you now (will I have to wait)
must i hesitate

Piano Solo

Verse 2
goin to the river take a rockin chair
if the blues overtake me
rock a way from there

Chorus

Steel Solo

Verse 3
i gotta woman
and a sweet heart too
my woman dont love me
but my sweet heart do

Chorus

Fiddle Solo

Verse 4
goin up the mountain
peep thorugh a hole
saw'd you little monkey
doin the sweet jelly roll

Chorus

Open Solo

Verse 5
goin to the river
gonna sit right down
if the blues over take me
ill jump in and drown

Chorus

Bring It On Down To My House

Written By: Traditional Arranged by Ray Benson

Bring' it on down to my house honey
There ain't nobody home but me
Bring it on down to my house honey
I need your company

Well I'm not braggin' but it's understood
I don't do nothin' that I can't do good
Bring it on down to my house honey
There ain't nobody here but me

Bring it on down to my house honey
There ain't nobody home but me
Fetch it on down to my house honey
I need company

We not good lookin' we don't dress fine
The way we whip it is a hangin' crime
Bring it on down to my house honey
There ain't nobody home but me

Bring it on down to my house honey
There ain't nobody home but me
Bring it on down to my house honey
I need your company

This is my advice and I'm talkin' nice
Don't you let me catch you walkin' With the same man twice
Bring it on down to my house honey
There ain't nobody home but me

Bring it on down to my house honey
There ain't nobody here but me
Fetch it on down to my house honey
I need company

That's my girl shes the one who did it
She begin to like it she just couldn't quit it
Bring it on down to my house honey
There aint nobody home but me

Bring it on down to my house honey
There ain't nobody home but me
Bring it on down to my house honey
I need your company

Two and two is four, four and four is eight
You better keep your gal away from my back gate
Bring it on down to my house honey
There ain't nobody home but me

Bring it on down to my house honey
There ain't nobody home but me
Bring it on down to my house honey
I need your company

Say old man can you play a fiddle
Well my crack is i can fiddle a little
Then bring it on down to my house honey
There ain't nobody home but me

Bring it on down to my house honey
There ain't nobody home but me
Bring it on down to my house honey
I need company

I may be short, kinda fat in the middle
Never have had to play the second fiddle
Bring it on down to my house honey
There ain't nobody home but me

Am I Right (Or Amarillo)

Written By: Jason Roberts

Started out with good intentions
Making love right there in the kitchen
You and me were getting along just fine
Got along just fine
More than crazy about one another
I was just a man you were my lover
Glad that I was yours and you were mine

For a while I could do no wrong
You Laughed at my jokes and you danced to my song
Not too bad for a Amarillo country boy
Pan handle country boy
Said if we could just stay together
It would be just like this forever
Finer things in life we would enjoy

You told me you thought I was wrong
You said our love it wouldn’t last too long
I don’t want to leave you all alone
So should I stay?
Or should I go back home?

Am I Right, Or Amarillo?
Do I stay here with you, Or hit the road?
Am I Right Or Amarillo?
I love you but I can always go back home

Now pretty soon it was just like I figured
Told me that you’d reconsidered
I could stay with you and be your man
Be your loving man
Now it seems there’s a brand new problem
Country boys learn their lessons when they’re taught ‘em
I’ve learned about as much as I can stand.

Now I’m the one who thinks that I was wrong
I don’t think our love’s going to last too long
I really really really hate to leave you all alone
But Texas is calling me back home

Am I Right, Or Amarillo?
Do I stay here with you, Or hit the road?
Am I Right Or Amarillo?
I love you but I can always go back home

Now it might be as flat as a pancake
How much heartache can one man take
Amarillo, we been too long apart
Been too long apart
There’s no need for me to keep on talking
If I’m a going I better start walking
Am I Right Or Amarillo never broke my heart

Texas Me and You

Written By: Ray Benson

Texas Me and You

Can’t believe what a beautiful sight it is to see
The hills of home rollin’ on in front of me
In an hour or so I’ll be holdin’ you in my arms it’s true
All there’ll be in this whole wide world is Texas me and you

Too many lonely miles I’ve covered in the last year or so
When I talk of the fire that’s in me
I believe you know
We’ll make love on a blanket on the banks of the river till the morining dew
All there’ll be in this whole wide world is Texas me and you

Texas me and you
Texas me and you
Take the time to find each other
Take the time to rediscover
Texas me and you
Texas me and you
Where a lone star’s shinin’
Texas me and you

Texas me and you
Texas me and you
Take the time to find each other
Take the time to rediscover
Texas me and you
Texas me and you
Where a lone star’s shinin’
Texas me and you

Texas me and you

Hot Like That

Written By: Ray Benson

WelI I like my women like I like my coffee
In the morning and steaming hot
I like a gal whos legs are limber
Who can tie ‘em in a knot
I ain’t impressed with a pretty dress
But a smile can knock me flat
So If you see me coming get your engine running cause I like em hot like that

I like ‘em
Hot hot hot like the 4th of july in Texas
Hot hot hot its all about the action and attraction of the opposite sexes

I like my women like I like my whisky
At night and over 25
I like a gal who can tickle my fancy
Really make me feel alive
I ain’t impressed with a posh address
Or a bank account that’s fat
I’m a straight hip shooter and a hip straight shooter
And I like em hot like that

I like ‘em
Hot hot hot like the 4th of July in Texas
Hot hot hot its all about the action and attraction of the opposite sexes

I like ‘em
Hot hot hot like the 4th of July in Texas
Hot hot hot its all about the action and attraction of the opposite sexes

Oh yea boys
You know I really really like em hot like that
I got these good old gals singing down in New Orleans
I ain’t impressed with a pretty dress
But a smile can knock me flat

I like ‘em really hot like that

Discography

Asleep at the Wheel: Then and Now (2013)
It's A Good Day (2010)
Willie and The Wheel (2009)
Asleep at the Wheel with the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra (2007)
Reinventing the Wheel (2006)
Santa Loves to Boogie (2006)
Live From Austin City Limits CD/DVD (2006)
Best Of: On The Road Live CD/DVD (2006)
Live At Billy Bob's Texas (2003)
Remembers the Alamo (2003)
Hang Up My Spurs (2002)
The Very Best of Asleep at the Wheel (2001)
Ride with Bob (1999)
Super Hits (1997)
Merry Texas Christmas, Y'all (1997)
Live! Back to the Future Now (1995)
The Wheel Keeps on rollin' (1995)
Still Swingin' (Boxed Set) (1994)
Tribute to the Music of Bob Wills (1993)
The Swingin' Best of Asleep at the Wheel (1992)
Route 66 (1992)
Live & Kickin' (1992)
Keepin' Me Up Nights (1990)
Western Standard Time (1988)
10 (1987)
Pasture Prime (1985)
Framed (1980)
Served Live (1979)
Collision Course (1978)
The Wheel (1977)
Wheelin' and Dealin' (1976)
Texas Gold (1975)
Asleep at the Wheel (1974)
Comin' right at Ya (1973)

Set List

The Wheel's set varies each and every night with Ray Benson calling out the songs from stage. Here are some songs you may hear at one of our shows. Please contact for rider and stage plot.

Hesitation Blues
It's A Good Day
Basin Street Blues
Take Me Back to Tulsa
Am I Right (Or Amarillo)
Get Your Kicks on Route 66
Big Balls in Cowtown
The Devil Ain't Lazy
House of Blue Lights
Miles and Miles of Texas
Choo Choo Ch' Boogie
New San Antonio Rose
Old Cow Hand
The Letter (That Johnny Walker Read)
Cherokee Maiden
Sittin' On Top of The World
Going Away Party
Misery
Hot Rod Lincoln
Faded Love
Hot Like That
The Cape
Milk Cow Blues
Bring It On Down To My House
This Ol' Cowboy
Boogie Back to Texas
Truck Driver's Bluess