Ray Benson founded Asleep at the Wheel in Paw Paw, W. Va. 48 years ago. Now based in Austin, Texas, the band boasts 10 Grammy awards, 20 studio albums, and 20 singles on the Billboard country charts. On Saturday, April 21, this celebrated band with its distinctive Western swing sound comes to the Opera House at Boothbay Harbor’s stage.
Bandleader Benson and the band have collaborated with country legends such as Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, and George Strait, as well as relative newcomers including The Avett Brothers, Amos Lee, Old Crow Medicine Show, and many other fine talents.
Asleep at the Wheel is bringing a fresh look and sound this year with recent additions Katie Shore on fiddle and vocals, Dennis Ludiker on fiddle and mandolin, Connor Forsyth on keyboard and vocals, and Josh Hoag on bass. Asleep at the Wheel’s newest members have given a newfound energy and their own unique style to the band.
Asleep at the Wheel veterans David Sanger (drums), Eddie Rivers (steel guitar), and Jay Reynolds (saxophone and clarinet), along with the inimitable Benson, round out the now eight-piece band. Between those Texas twin fiddles and the boogie piano, audiences routinely are seen dancing down the aisles and swinging all night long when the Wheel rolls into town.
Advance discounted tickets for Asleep at the Wheel are $30 and available from the opera house box office, at 86 Townsend Ave. in Boothbay Harbor, or by calling 633-5159. Regularly priced tickets are $35 and available at the door or online at boothbayoperahouse.com.
The doors for seating open at 7 p.m. and the music begins at 7:30 p.m. The historic upstairs bar will open at 6:30 p.m. for early arrivals. The performance is open to all ages.