Asleep at the Wheel
Texas Jump Swing
- Sunday, Aug 26, 2018
BOX OFFICE 612-332-5299
About Asleep at the Wheel
Asleep at the Wheel has seen miles and miles of Texas. They got their kicks on Route 66. And, in 2010, the band clicked another milestone on the odometer – their 40th anniversary. The band continues to introduce the western swing genre to a new generation on tour and takes audiences on the ride of a lifetime with their play, “A Ride with Bob.” “It’s 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 are still so many exciting projects in the works. The Wheel keeps 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, leader of Commander Cody & His Lost Planet Airmen. 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.