Asleep at the Wheel – Still the King: Celebrating the Music of Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys (Proper)

Asleep2Willie Nelson, Brad Paisley, Jamey Johnson, George Strait, and Lyle Lovett are just some of the guest artists on Asleep At The Wheel’s soon-to-be-released album Still the King: Celebrating The Music Of Bob Wills And His Texas Playboys.

Clearly, leader Ray Benson has some friends who respect his talent.

And why not? Ever since 1970, when Benson formed the now Austin, Texas-based group in Paw, Paw, Virginia, it’s preserved the Western Swing tradition of Bob Wills. This latest recording is the nine-time Grammy Award winning group’s third tribute to Wills.

But don’t let all the fancy, arena-filling names fool you into thinking that the music is anything but Western Swing at its finest.

It’s not a stretch to hear Merle Haggard’s distinctive vocals wrap smoothly around those of Asleep at the Wheel’s Emily Gimble on ‘Keeper of My Heart.’ They’re as natural as hearing Del McCoury – whose vocals enchanted everyone from Bruce Springsteen to the late Jerry Garcia – and his band perform ‘Silver Dew on the Bluegrass Tonight’ or Nelson joining the Quebe Sisters for a stunning performance of ‘Navajo Trail.’

Those songs and the others are brilliant and bewitching.

The real stand-out songs, though, are those where younger performers – including Brad Paisley, who lends virtuosic guitar work and vocals to ‘My Window Faces the South,’ and the Avett Brothers’ elegant performance on ‘The Girl I Left Behind,” – bolsters belief that Western Swing and its fans won’t fade away anytime soon.

Asleep At The Wheel doesn’t currently have any U.K. concert dates set, but this March 3 release is a terrific placeholder until they make their way back.

Nancy Dunham

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‘San Antonio Rose’ live:

Sean Taylor LOVE AGAINST DEATH

Peace against War. Hope against Hate. Unity against Division.

Freedom against Fear. Love against Death.

The album was born and brought up in Kilburn, England, and comes to you by way of Austin,Texas. Sean is an unwilling member of the generation defined by neo liberalism. One of Thatcher’s children, who became one of Blair’s adults, this album is a howl against both, a direct challenge to a world where we are judged by what we consume rather than what we contribute.

LOVE AGAINST DEATH is a direct challenge to a reality dominated by greed, inequality, and injustice.  LOVE AGAINST DEATH is the choice we make at every moment, in every relationship, and by every action. It’s about taking sides.

The album was recorded in Austin, Texas, and produced by Mark Hallman. After hearing Mark’s work, with Eliza Gilkyson in particular, Sean realised he would be perfect. Sean wanted to capture his live guitar sound, and Mark is the absolute master in this area. As a session guitarist himself, he knows exactly how to record and mix different guitars. Mark has also produced Carole King, Ani di Franco, Tom Russell, Iain Matthews, as well as working with Stevie Ray Vaughan, Oasis, and Lyle Lovett.

”absolutely superb guitarist … reminiscent of John Martyn” 

BOB HARRIS BBC RADIO 2

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Artist Web link: http://www.seantaylorsongs.com/

Sam Sallon

Sam Sallon, an up and coming acoustic singer/songwriter from North London, who is creating quite a buzz on the acoustic music scene. Sam has a new album that is scheduled to be released in April called One For The Road, which we’ll be checking out shortly.

Sam has quite a pedigree already as he has toured with Rodrigo y Gabriela, Pete Doherty, Nouvelle Vague, Dot Allison and Lyle Lovett. Last year he played Cheltenham Folk, The Secret Garden Party, Big Chill and Wilderness and Beacon Festivals.

His album, One For The Road, was produced by David Watson, who has worked with Eric Clapton and the late Bert Jansch, the album features some well-known musicians, such as Paul Wassif, Neil Cowley and Kami Thompson and so far the reviews have been glowing.

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For more information and to listen to more of Sam’s music check out his website at http://samsallon.com/news/