Ray Benson‘s birthday party as a fundraiser for HAAM is an Austin tradition during SXSW. The passes are sought after, and there are always some big name surprise guests on stage with Ray and his house band, Asleep At The Wheel. Through the years I have seen many great artists at this event, Willie Nelson, The Avett Brothers, George Strait, Carolyn Wonderland and many others.
The week after the SXSW conference and festival was over, Asleep At The Wheel staged a tour to old Texas dance halls. The tour had a double purpose – one was to hold concerts with Asleep At The Wheel with musical friends, the other was to put the focus on a Texas tradition that is threatened by obsolescence. I visited Luckenbach for a daytime concert during the tour. Continue reading
Thursday night at SXSW I went for country music and Americana. Loretta Lynn played at Stubb’s, so I started there. Then I went over to The Gatsby and saw Sam Outlaw, Wynonna Judd, Hayes Carll, Asleep At The Wheel and Jack Ingram. That was not the worst way to spend a night in Austin.
Tuesday night was a real treat for us who like hand-played high quality music with good songs and even better playing. The main event for the evening at the Saxon Pub was Asleep At The Wheel. Milk Drive opened the show, and after the Wheels, Carolyn Wonderland played, before Insects vs Robots closed the night. (Picture above: Ray Benson from Asleep At The Wheel)
Asleep At The Wheel is the longest living western Swing band in USA. During their 40+ years of existence, they have won 9 Grammies and numerous other awards. They have toured all over USA many times, plus extensively in Europe. Now Dan Karlok has made a documentary about the band that will premiere this summer. A 34 minutes, unfinished version was shown at the SXSW yesterday.