Asleep At The Wheel Celebrates Bob Wills

After Asleep At The Wheel releases its tribute to country legend Bob Wills, the Texas swing band will play a New York gig and then hit the road with for a round of shows scheduled through July.

The new album, Still The King: Celebrating The Music Of Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys, arrives March 3.  Preordering via PledgeMusic and iTunes gives you an instant download of the band’s new single, “The Girl I Left Behind Me,” which the band recorded with The Avett Brothers.  The song debuted on Relix.

“When [The Avetts] came in the studio they were primed and ready to roll,” Asleep At The Wheel co-founder/frontman Ray Benson said.  “The result is a joyous romp with hilarious lyrics!”

Benson said the new album wasn’t an attempt to rework Wills’ classic recordings but to honor the songs made famous by the King of Western Swing.

“The idea was to get people who were contemporary artists to play the Bob Wills music the way that we play it, which is close to the original,” Benson said.  “We don’t resurrect it, we play close to it, with our own inspiration.”

But The Avett Brothers aren’t the only guests on the album. Willie Nelson, Brad Paisley, Jamey Johnson, Merle Haggard, George Strait, Amos Lee, Old Crow Medicine Show, Lyle Lovett, Kat Edmonson, Robert Earl Keen and guitar virtuoso Tommy Emmanuel are just some of the artists that joined Asleep At The Wheel in the studio.

While the band has a few February shows in Texas and Oklahoma, Asleep At The Wheel will embark on an East Coast run beginning with a concert in Annapolis March 1.  The first show following the album’s release is in the Big Apple at the New York Society For Ethical Culture March 4.

Photo: AP Photo / Charlie Neibergall
Black Tie & Boots Inaugural Ball, Gaylord National Resort & Conv. Center, Nat'l Harbor, Md.

Here’s the schedule:

Feb. 13 – The Woodlands, Texas, Dosey Doe
Feb. 14 – Fredericksburg, Texas, Luckenbach Texas
Feb. 20 – Dallas, Texas, The Kessler Theater
Feb. 21 – Durant, Okla., Choctaw Casino & Resort – Gilley’s
March 1 – Annapolis, Md., Rams Head On Stage
March 2 – Philadelphia, Pa., World Cafe Live
March 4 – New York, N.Y., The Concert Hall At The New York Society for Ethical Culture
March 5 – Hartford, Conn., Infinity Hall Hartford 
March 6 – Fall River, Mass., Narrows Center For The Arts
March 7 – Brownfield, Maine, Stone Mountain Arts Center
March 8 – Albany, N.Y., The Egg
March 10 – Alexandria, Va., The Birchmere
March 12 – Chicago, Ill., City Winery Chicago
March 20 – Bloomington, Ill., The Castle Theatre
March 21 – Kent, Ohio, The Kent Stage
March 22 – Cincinnati, Ohio, The Ballroom
March 23 – Lexington, Ky., Woodsongs
March 24 – Nashville, Tenn., Grand Ole Opry House
March 26 – Asheville, N.C., New Mountain Theatre
March 27 – Nashville, Tenn., The Country Music Hall Of Fame And Museum / CMA Theater
March 29-31 Savannah, Ga., Savannah Music Festival
April 1 – Durham, N.C., Carolina Theatre
April 16 – Dallas, Texas, Dallas Arboretum
April 18 – Iola, Kansas, Bowles Fine Arts Center
April 30 – New Braunfels, Texas, Gruene Hall
May 1 – New Braunfels, Texas, Gruene Hall
May 2 – Spring, Texas, The Centrum 
May 9 – Canadian, Texas, Jones Pavilion (Canadian River Music Festival)
May 15 – Angels Camp, Calif., Calaveras County Fairgrounds (Calaveras County Fair & Jumping Frog Jubilee)
May 23 – Bakersfield, Calif., The Park At Riverwalk (Bakersfield Rockin’ Country Festival)
May 29 – Alto, N.M., Spencer Theater
June 20 – Eldon, Mo., Shawnee Bluff Winery

Some shows are already on sale.  Click here for more details.