The stock show is in town so it’s only fitting and proper for the Vinyl Vault to put a little twang in its swing. There’s no better way to do that than with “Asleep at the Wheel.” An institution for 50 years now, Asleep at the Wheel members may wear cowboy hats, but they swing like nobody’s business. Their vast repertoire includes great jazz, R&B and blues classics like “Jumpin’ at the Woodside,” “God Bless the Child,” “Choo Choo Ch’Boogie,” “Route 66,” “Roll ‘Em Floyd” (aka “Roll ‘Em Pete”) as well as many great originals. A band that’s been around for 50 years is bound to see personnel changes and the list of Wheel alums numbers over 80 at this point. However, the constant for the last half century is Ray Benson, leader, vocalist, guitarist and head mirth-maker. All this time, Benson has stuck with his vision to keep alive Western swing, a genre pioneered by Bob Wills and his Texas Playboys starting in the 1930s and 40s. The new music fused the swing of Benny Goodman and Count Basie with the country and western sounds of rural America.
The Vinyl Vault will examine this uniquely American music with tracks from several early Asleep at the Wheel albums and it all happens Tuesday, January 14 at 8:30 pm on KUVO Jazz. Yippee Ty Yea!