Asleep at the Wheel Duo Ray Benson and Katie Shore Support Carson McHone Saturday 2nd February 2019 The Jericho Tavern, 56 Walton Street, Oxford, OX2 6AE Doors 7.30 pm Tickets £20 in advance, £25 on the night
Due to sound check restriction the door time indicates the earliest opportunity we can give access to the venue. Live music will start 20-30 minutes after the door open time.
This is a unique opportunity to see an iconic musician on a very rare visit to the UK, in an intimate setting. The 6’7” Ray Benson has been the one constant in Asleep At the Wheel since the band’s founding in 1970 in Paw Paw, West Virginia. Since that time, more than 100 musicians have passed through the Wheel, but Benson remains the front man and the keeper of the vision, in the process racking up more than 25 albums, nine Grammy awards and literally millions of miles on the road. New Routes, the brand-new album by Asleep At the Wheel, marks both a new path forward and a nod to the freewheeling roots (get it?) of one of Texas’ most beloved bands. After a decade of collaborating on record with friends, including Willie Nelson on 2009’s Willie and the Wheel, and paying on-going tribute to the groundbreaking music of Western Swing pioneer Bob Wills; the Wheel is marking 2018 with their first album of new material in a decade. With a fresh line-up, a bracing blend of original songs and vibrant cover material and some unanticipated new musical tangents, Asleep At the Wheel demonstrates convincingly it’s more relevant, enjoyable and musically nimble than any time in its 45-year history.
Katie Shore follows in the long tradition of strong and talented female performers who have been an integral part of the band’s identity for decades. From founding female vocalist Chris O’Connell to Mary Ann Price, Rosie Flores, Cindy Cashdollar, Elizabeth McQueen and Emily Gimble, women vocalists and musicians have shaped the band’s legacy.
Shore agrees. “I always wanted to be in Asleep At the Wheel,” she said. “If you grew up in Fort Worth and played the fiddle, it was impossible not to know who the Wheel was. I feel part of a legacy, for sure.”
Years before Rolling Stone was praising Carson McHone's rule-breaking roots music, the Austin, Texas native played weeknights in local bars like The White Horse, keeping dancers dancing and drinkers drinking. With her 21st birthday still in the distance, McHone entertained late-night crowds bearing witness to the good times and bad decisions that fill a busy bar. It was a rare, raw education. She pumped her music full of details from an early adulthood spent in the company of the heartbroken and high-toleranced. In 2015, McHone released Goodluck Man, which earned her a cover story in The Austin Chronicle as well as the support of local icons like Ray Wylie Hubbard, who said she "writes songs like her life depends on it." Then she hit the road, touring the U.S. (and beyond) with acts like Shakey Graves, Gary Clark, Jr., and Joe Pug. Her writing style widened and her music evolved. Dark, driving and evocative, Carson’s new album Carousel captures this period of remarkable growth, shining a light not only on McHone's honky-tonk roots, but also on her development as a modern, alt-country storyteller. It features newly written songs and updated versions of tracks that first appeared on Goodluck Man, pushing traditional sounds and themes into a modern context. Playing an instrumental role in the process was Mike McCarthy, the now Nashville based, award-winning producer behind albums for Spoon, Patty Griffin, and Heartless Bastards. McCarthy is well versed in country music but his work is definitely not defined by the genre, which made him the perfect candidate for McHone’s new record. Carousel is a latter-day record unconcerned with flying the flag of old-school country, inspired by diverse sources like Dylan, the Velvet Underground, and American novelist Thomas Wolfe. It wears its eclecticism proudly, with McHone singing each song in a voice that is worldly-wise and woozily gorgeous.