Willie & The Wheel Unveil Album
aaamusic | On 30, May 2010
Proper Records and Bismeaux Records are very pleased to announce the UK release of ‘Willie & The Wheel’, an album collaboration between Willie Nelson and Asleep at the Wheel on June 7th. A concept thirty years in the making, Willie & The Wheel is a collection of classic western swing songs hand-picked by the late Jerry Wexler.
“Jerry wanted us to do this album and I’m glad we got to do it for him, “says Willie Nelson. “And that he heard it before he passed on.”
“ is a CD whose time has come,” says Ray Benson. “Jerry Wexler originally came up with this concept back when Willie was on the Atlantic label. But, before the record could be made Willie left Atlantic for CBS records and so the idea was shelved.”
From a catalogue of nearly 40 selections Jerry and Ray painstakingly narrowed the list down to twelve. Always the producer with a vision, Jerry was involved in every way. He insisted that some of the tracks should include horns as well as a return to traditional fiddles and lap steel guitar associated with western swing.
As the sessions concluded and Willie finished his vocals the tracks were sent to Jerry.
“To my delight and relief,” says Ray, “he loved them.”
Not yet satisfied with the collection, Ray determined that an instrumental piece was – instrumental. For Ray, one tune kept coming up: South, originally done by Bennie Moten, it was also the song that Bob Wills opened his shows with for a number of years.
“I called Jerry up and he was in total agreement. He also informed me that South was a million seller when it came out in 1927. We recorded the song about the same time we were doing a benefit for Habitat for Humanity with David Letterman in Austin so it was natural for our good friend Paul Shaffer to join us for the session. We were also fortunate enough to have the talented Vince Gill lend his electric guitar licks on this track.”
“It was a sad day indeed when the news came in that Jerry Wexler had passed away,” says Ray. “We’re so proud to have had this opportunity to make this record with him.”
Willie and The Wheel album tracklist:
1) Hesitation Blues
2) Sweet Jennie Lee
3) Fan It
4) I Ain’t Gonna Give Nobody None O’ This Jelly Roll
5) Oh! You Pretty Woman
6) Bring It On Down To My House
7) Right Or Wrong
8) Corrine Corrina
9) I’m Sittin’ On Top Of The World
10) Shame On You
11) South (featuring Paul Shaffer and Vince Gill)
12) Won’t You Ride In My Little Red Wagon