May 29th, 2021


Fifty years ago—before Americana or Outlaw or Cosmic Country ever had a name—Ray Benson and his band Asleep at the Wheel were carrying the torch of some of America’s favorite music into the future with fiery live shows, droves of followers, and a mainstream swing sound all their own. Fast forward five decades to find Benson and crew still bearing that torch, albeit with quite a few more fans and albums under their belt. To begin the celebration of its 50th anniversary, Asleep at the Wheel is releasing some new music ahead of a quick jaunt through Texas and Missouri this June—an appetizer of sorts for what’s to come from their momentous anniversary year. Today, the band released a three-song EP dubbed Better Times, produced by Benson for Bismeaux Records. Benson takes the lead vocal on the title track, a hopeful original written while riding out the pandemic. Asleep at the Wheel vocalist and fiddler Katie Shore sings “All I’m Asking,” a rousing request to get back together, written by Band of Heathens’ Ed Jurdi and Gordi Quist. Meanwhile, Benson and Shore harmonize on “Columbus Stockade Blues,” a traditional tune arranged in the spirit of Willie Nelson and Shirley Collie’s 1960s version. Now that Better Times is out in the world, Asleep at the Wheel will be hitting the road to celebrate—not just the EP, but the fact that they’re able to tour again—with a run of
shows that will take them from Texas’s legendary Gruene Hall up through Texas to Columbia and St. Louis, Missouri, and back down to College Station to end the run on June 20th.


  1. Mike Behind The Mic says:

    Asleep At The Wheel! WOW! 50 years in this crazy business and still going strong needs a standing ovation. Congratulations!

    Mike Behind The Mic

  2. Butter Hayes says:

    My Dad loved Asleep At The Wheel, so I grew up with their music. I would love to see them live because I saw them with my Dad and I had so much fun. I think it was my very first concert. Time flies, but Asleep At The Wheel is still here.

    Butter Hayes
    Memphis, TN

  3. Dianne Dixon says:

    Legendary. Iconic. That’s Asleep At The Wheel. Congratulations on good music for 50 years and here’s to keeping it going with new fans who appreciate you.

    Dianne Dixon
    Nashville, TN

  4. D.J. Ward says:

    After 50 years in the music business, Asleep At The Wheel needs to write a book. Can you imagine the stories they could tell about the music industry for the past 50 years? Can you imagine their road stories? Or studio stories? They have always been a favorite and I’m so glad they are still making music. Keep going!

    D.J. Ward
    Stillwater, OK

  5. Bud Howard says:

    You better believe I will be at their concert when Asleep At The Wheel hits St. Louis. They have been in my life all my life and no, I ain’t 50, but I love this group.

    Bud Howard
    Jefferson City, MO

  6. The Man In The Booth says:

    Very few hit 50 years in his business and folks, it is a business. Congratulations Asleep at the Wheel.

    The Man In The Booth

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