LIVE: Asleep at the Wheel @ The Egg, 3/8/15
Photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk
Asleep at the Wheel’s new album is titled Still the King: Celebrating the Music of Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys, but of course, long tall Texan Ray Benson and his band have been celebrating Bob Wills’ music since they first formed 45 years ago.
So, there really weren’t any surprises during their concert at The Egg’s Swyer Theatre earlier this month – just good ole, flat-out, rollicking western swing, as they glided through gems like “Big Balls in Cowtown,” “Route 66” and, of course, “Miles and Miles of Texas.”
Benson is the only remaining original member, but he always surrounds himself with top-notch players, and the Wheel’s current incarnation is no exception, fueled by keyboardist Emily Gimble, fiddler Katie Shore and saxophonist/pedal steel guitarist Eddie Rivers, as well as the ace rhythm section of drummer Dave Sanger and bassist Dave Miller.
The surprise came with opening act, the Quebe Sisters – Grace, Sophia and Hulda – who not only served up some mighty impressive old-timey fiddling and vocal harmonies, but also brought along multi-talented, Texas twin sisters Katy & Penny Clark (known collectively as the Purple Hulls) to add even more punch to their vintage country sound. Together, they earned a rare but well-deserved opening act standing ovation from the appreciative crowd.
Bryan Lasky’s review and photos at NYS Music