They're back! Ray Benson and band Asleep at the Wheel (and a crowd topped by cowboy hats) return to the Spencer Theater for command performances of "A Ride With Bob" Thursday through Saturday, August 25-27. Show times are at 8 p.m., with a special matinee set for 2 p.m. Saturday.
The hit Broadway production features dozens of fiddlers, guitars, saxophones, trombones, trumpet and steel guitar, plus soulful singers and boot-scootin' dancers in celebration of the King of Texas Swing, the legendary big band musician Bob Wills. The high-energy production, proclaimed "the most entertaining night in Texas" by Liz Smith of the New York Post, is sponsored by The Hubbard Foundation and Chevron Corporation.
In "A Ride With Bob," the present day Benson follows the travels of the legendary singer/songwriter Bob Wills (1905-1975) whose story takes him from humble beginnings as a boy picking cotton and continues with a young talent who's black-balled from radio; his first recording session and creation of his band the Texas Playboys, his struggles with fame in Hollywood and his many failed marriages. The biographical narrative is carried further, in part, by Asleep at the Wheel's performance of 15 of Wills most famous tunes i.e. San Antonio Rose, Faded Love, Roly Poly, Bubbles in My Beer, Take Me Back To Tulsa and Osage Stomp.
Ever since writing the musical play with Anne Rapp in 2005 (it was the centennial of Wills' birth), Benson and his country swing band have toured the production to such venues throughout the country as the Kennedy Center and halls throughout Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and California. The Spencer is the only hall in New Mexico to feature this vibrant production -- a concert within a musical. Don't miss seeing this legendary band pay tribute to the legendary Wills. Excellent seats ($59 & $56) are available to every show. Call the Spencer Box Office at 575.336.4800 or go online to spencertheater.com for tickets.
About Asleep at the Wheel
Asleep at the Wheel is a American country music group that was formed in Paw Paw, West Virginia, but based in Austin, Texas. Altogether, they have won nine Grammy Awards since their 1970 inception and are considered the most important force in keeping the sound of Western swing alive. In reviving the freewheeling, eclectic sensibility of Western swing godfather Bob Wills, the Wheel have not only preserved classic sounds that had all but disappeared from country music, but have also been able to update the music, keeping it a living, breathing art form.. In their career, they have released more than 20 studio albums, and have charted more than 20 singles on the Billboard country charts. They have recorded and collaborated with such country favorites as Dolly Pardon, Willie Nelson, George Straight, Merle Haggard, The Dixie Chicks, Dwight Yoakam, Vince Gill and Bob Dylan.
Next up in Summer Season 2011:
• "A Ride With Bob" starring Asleep At The Wheel, Thursday-Saturday, August 25-27 at 8 p.m. & Saturday, August 27 at 2 p.m. ($59 & $56). Faded Love, Roly Poly, San Antonio Rose. Rollicking tribute-tale with Ray Benson's band of 25 celebrating the late, great Bob Wills, the King of Western Swing. Sponsored by the Hubbard Foundation & Cheveron.
• Bernie Jessome as Roy Orbison, Saturday, September 3 at 8 p.m. ($69 & $66). Pre-performance Enchilada Supper in lobby at 6 p.m. ($20). This blazing baritone, rockabilly-pop tribute show features the best Roy Orbison impersonator on the continent!
WAYS TO ORDER/ BUY Summer Season 2011 Tickets
GO TO THE BOX OFFICE: at the theater at108 Spencer Road, Airport Highway 220, Alto, NM. Business hours are 9 a.m-5 p.m., Monday through Friday. No phone orders are accepted for series sales. For tickets or information call (575) 336-4800 or toll free at 888.818.7872.
ON THE WEB: www.spencertheater.com. The site offers secure ticket ordering.