Willie and the Wheel


Willie Nelson and Ray Benson and Asleep at the Wheel will release Willie And The Wheel in stores and digitally on February 3, 2009 via Bismeaux Records. Jerry Wexler’s long-overdue concept album takes Willie Nelson back to his musical roots. Teamed up with Ray Benson and the master musicianship of Asleep At The Wheel, this album celebrates the timeless appeal of a most unique and spirited American music genre. Thirty years after the idea was first introduced, its February release will coincide with a 10-date joint tour.

The album features a dozen classic songs from the swing genre, which was most famously represented by Bob Wills, a fiddler and band leader who influenced both Willie and Wheel founder Ray Benson. The duet album was originally suggested by legendary record producer Jerry Wexler during the 1970s, when Willie briefly recorded for Atlantic Records. Wexler, who produced such hits as Aretha Franklin’s “Respect” and Wilson Pickett’s “In The Midnight Hour,” died in August, but he produced Willie And The Wheel before his passing.

“I’m glad we got to do it for him,” Willie says, “and that he heard it before he passed on.”

The album includes remakes of “Corrine Corrina,” “Right Or Wrong,” “I’m Sittin’ On Top Of The World” and Spade Cooley’s “Shame On You.” The latter song features guest appearances by Vince Gill and David Letterman cohort Paul Shaffer.

Asleep At The Wheel has appeared a number of times at Willie’s Fourth Of July Picnics and Farm Aid concerts. The band also enlisted Willie in 1998 to record “Going Away Party” with Manhattan Transfer for the Bob Wills tribute album Ride With Bob. The performance earned a Grammy nomination.

Track Listing:
1. Hesitation Blues
2. Sweet Jennie Lee
3. Fan It
4. I Ain’t Gonna Give Nobody None O’ This Jellyroll
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

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