The musicianship of Asleep at the Wheel has become the stuff of legends. Reuters pegged The Wheel as one of the best live acts in the business. Taking a page from Bob Wills book, the band has constantly toured at a national level throughout its history; with anywhere from 7-15 of the finest players Ray Benson could talk into jumping in the bus to play a string of dates. The alumni roster is well over 80+ members, and includes an impressive list of musicians who have gone on to perform with artists such as Bob Dylan, Van Morrison, Lyle Lovett, Ryan Adams, and many more. A quick scan of awards, such as Touring Band of the Year (CMAs, 1976) and Lifetime Achievement in Performance (Americana Music Awards 2009), not to mention near dominance of the GRAMMY Country Instrumental category over the years, reflects the reputation of the band's musicianship. Ray Benson fell in love with western swing because of its unique combination of elements of American blues, swing and traditional fiddling but also for its demanding musical chops. Western swing is what Benson calls jazz with a cowboy hat, is a thrill to hear live, and thanks in large part to the Wheels 40 years of promotion, is a living and creative genre of music today.
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