A year later, Asleep at the Wheel to celebrate 50th anniversary with Waterloo Park concert
Legendary western swing band Asleep at the Wheel will celebrate its 50th anniversary with a three-hour concert at Waterloo Park on Oct. 15, with special guests Kat Edmonson and Brennen Leigh plus appearances by eight former members of the band.
Also promised, in a press release announcing the event, is "a very special guest fans of country music won’t want to miss." (We checked Willie Nelson's tour schedule and he's in Phoenix on Oct. 15, so guess again.)
Tickets, $35-$65, are on sale now via the band's website, asleepatthewheel.com.
Asleep at the Wheel alumni returning for the event are singer Chris O'Connell, steel guitarist Cindy Cashdollar, bassist Tony Garnier, multi-instrumentalist Danny Levin, pianists Floyd Domino and John Michael Whitby, fiddler Jason Roberts and drummer David Sanger.
The current lineup features leader Ray Benson, fiddlers Katie Shore and Dennis Ludiker, keyboardist Connor Forsyth, bassist Josh Hoag, steel guitarist Flavio Pasquetto, saxophonist Joey Colarusso and drummer Jason Baczynski. More than five dozen musicians have been in Asleep at the Wheel across the band's five-decade run.
Benson, a Philadelphia native, founded the band in 1970 in West Virginia. They relocated briefly to the Bay Area before Nelson convinced them to move to Austin around 1973. A 50th-anniversary concert originally was planned for last year but was postponed because of the pandemic.
The band has won eight Grammy Awards and released more than 60 albums, counting live records and compilations. They're the only band to have played every single Austin City Limits Music Festival. (They'll kick off this year's ACL Fest at 1 p.m. on Oct. 1.)
“I’m the reason it’s still together, but the reason it’s popular is because we’ve had the greatest singers and players," Benson said in a statement. "I’m just a singer and a songwriter, and a pretty good guitar player, but my real gift is in convincing people to jump on board and play this music."