Asleep at the Wheel is ringing in their 50th anniversary with a brand new album October 1.
Half A Hundred Years is a 19-track celebration filled out by a number of world-class friends of the band; a guest-list testament to Asleep at the Wheel’s reputation as a cornerstone of American music for the last 50 years. Greats like Willie Nelson, George Strait, Emmylou Harris, Lee Ann Womack, and Lyle Lovett appear throughout Half A Hundred Years on a host of classic and destined-to-be-classic Western Swing and Country tunes. Additionally, three original members of Asleep at the Wheel—Chris O’Connell, Leroy Preston, and Lucky Oceans—returned after 40 years to lend their voices and musicianship to a number of tracks.
Fans can listen to the title track, “Half A Hundred Years” on YouTube now and order the full album on www.asleepatthewheel.com.
Founded in 1970, Asleep at the Wheel is a strong part of the American roots music landscape. Although the band got its start on a farm in Paw Paw, West Virginia, they became a cornerstone of the Austin, Texas, scene upon its arrival in 1973. Inspired by Western swing and honky-tonk country, the band has accrued 10 Grammy Awards. In the fall, a career retrospective recorded with the current lineup and a few special guests will carry the band back onto the road, where they’ve remained a staple for five decades.
“The one reason that I kept going,” Benson says, “is that every week a fan would come up and be so appreciative, saying, ‘Don’t ever stop. You’re the only band that goes out on the road and does this old, cool music.’ That’s when I knew it was more than just a living – that I was blessed with caretaking a form of music.”
When it’s all said and done, Half A Hundred Years is a reminder for one to take ownership and care of the things they love, just as Ray Benson has cherished, polished, built, and rebuilt Asleep at the Wheel, and to some extent, the history and future of Western Swing music.
Half A Hundred Years Tracklist:
"Half A Hundred Years"
"It’s The Same Old South" featuring Chris O’Connell
"I Do What I Must" featuring Leroy Preston
"There You Go Again" featuring Lyle Lovett
"My Little Baby" featuring Chris O’Connell
"Paycheck To Paycheck" featuring Leroy Preston
"Word To The Wise" featuring Bill Kirchen
"That’s How I Remember It" featuring Chris O’Connell
"The Photo" featuring Leroy Preston
"I Love You Most Of All (When You’re Not Here)" featuring Lucky Oceans
"The Wheel Boogie"
"Take Me Back To Tulsa" featuring George Strait and Willie Nelson
"The Letter That Johnny Walker Read" featuring Lee Ann Womack
"Bump Bounce Boogie" featuring Chris O'Connell, Elizabeth McQueen, & Katie Shore
"Miles And Miles Of Texas"
"Get Your Kicks On Route 66" featuring Leroy Preston, Johnny Nicholas, & Ray Benson
"Marie" featuring Willie Nelson
"Spanish Two Step" featuring Johnny Gimble And Jesse Ashlock
"The Road Will Hold Me Tonight" featuring Emmylou Harris And Willie Nelson