Asleep at the Wheel, the 10-time Grammy award-winning band revered for sustaining Texas-based Western Swing, returns to the Community Concert Hall at Fort Lewis College on Sunday, Aug. 12 for a special summer show. Special guest, local bluegrass band StillHouse Junkies, opens the show at 7:30 p.m. The dance floor will be open.
Since the early 1970s, the Wheel has been the most important force in Western Swing - a mix of big band, country and dance music popularized in the 1930s and 1940s by Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys. Formed out of reverence for Wills' freewheeling, eclectic sensibility, Asleep at the Wheel and founder Ray Benson are said to have boldly defied the fickle lures of mainstream - and thrived - by keeping the distinctly Americana art form of Western Swing alive and kicking.
"I think Bob Wills is one of the iconic figures of popular music - one of the people who set the standard in the way we do music today," Benson said in an interview with CBS' "Sunday Morning."
The musicianship of Asleep at the Wheel is said to have become the stuff of legends. Reuter's 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 7-15 of the finest players Benson "could talk into jumping in the bus to play a string of dates." The alumni roster well exceeds 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.
Core members currently touring are Benson (lead guitar, vocals), David Sanger (drums), and Eddie Rivers (steel guitar, sax), with Jay Reynolds (sax, clarinet), Katie Shore (fiddle, vocals), Dennis Ludiker (fiddle, mandolin), Connor Forsyth (keyboard, vocals) and Josh Hogg (bass) joining the current line-up.
View a variety of The Wheel's live videos at www.asleepatthewheel.com/videos.
StillHouse Junkies, based in Durango, performs a mixture of original roots, blues, funk, swing, and bluegrass music. All three band members share vocal duties and swap instruments, thus the Junkies conjure a wide range of tonal landscapes that pay tribute to the iconic sounds of Gillian Welch, the Allman Brothers, Tim O'Brien, the Wood Brothers, John Hiatt, and more, while breaking new musical ground with their genre-bending original material.
The band features Alissa Wolf (vocals, fiddle, guitar), Cody Tinnin (vocals, bass, banjo) and Fred Kosak (vocals, guitar, mandolin).
Tickets for Asleep at the Wheel, with special guest StillHouse Junkies are $30 and $40.
Tickets are available online at www.durangoconcerts.com, or call 247-7657, or visit the Ticket Office inside the Durango Welcome Center at Eighth Street and Main Avenue in downtown Durango. Ticket office hours are from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays. All sales are final.
The Community Concert Hall is a not-for-profit, multi-use performance venue located on the campus of Fort Lewis College. Its ability to bring a diverse spectrum of shows to Southwest Colorado is made possible through a partnership with the college, a state-supported, independent institution of higher education, and through financial and in-kind contributions from generous members of the community.