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Artist: Willie Nelson
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Willie and the Wheel CD 1 of 1
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Product Details:

Format: CD
Sku: 210635574
UPC: 020286128724
UPC 14: 00020286128724
Release Date: 2/3/2009
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Song Listing

Disc 1
Song Title
1. Hesitation Blues ~ Asleep at the Wheel/Willie Nelson
2. Sweet Jennie Lee ~ Asleep at the Wheel/Willie Nelson
3. Fan It ~ Asleep at the Wheel/Willie Nelson
4. I Ain't Gonna Give Nobody None O' This Jelly Roll ~ Asleep at the Wheel/Willie Nelson
5. Oh! You Pretty Woman ~ Asleep at the Wheel/Willie Nelson
6. Bring It On Down To My House ~ Asleep at the Wheel/Willie Nelson
7. Right or Wrong ~ Asleep at the Wheel/Willie Nelson
8. Corrine Corrina ~ Asleep at the Wheel/Willie Nelson
9. I'm Sittin' On Top Of The World ~ Asleep at the Wheel/Willie Nelson
10. Shame On You ~ Asleep at the Wheel/Willie Nelson
11. South - (featuring Vince Gill) ~ Asleep at the Wheel/Willie Nelson
12. Won't You Ride in My Little Red Wagon ~ Asleep at the Wheel/Willie Nelson
 
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 instant classic celebrates the timeless appeal of a most unique and spirited American music genre. Fall in love with Western Swing...again.

Bismeaux Records is very pleased to announce that Willie Nelson and Asleep at the Wheel have teamed up to release an album collaboration. A concept thirty years in the making, Willie and 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."

"The set is so authentic that one almost feels guilty listening to it on modern speakers instead of seated around the old Victrola.  Billboard
"No, western swing certainly ain't dead, as Asleep at the Wheel likes to remind us. In fact, it sounds as lively as ever.  Garden and Gun
"Both Nelson and Asleep at the Wheel are in prime form on this magnificent effort.  Nashville City Paper
"Fiddles and steel guitar blaze away, while Willie and friends sound relaxed but musically tight while delivering vocals and guitar licks.  SF Country Music Examiner
"Bright, playful and exploding with verve, Willie and the Wheel is one of the first great albums of 2009.  The Washington Post

Album Notes and Credits


Notes & Personnel Info
Muze PNote Personnel: Willie Nelson (vocals); Ray Benson (vocals, acoustic guitar, electric guitar); Jason Roberts (vocals, mandolin, electric mandolin, fiddle); Elizabeth McQueen (vocals); Sam Seifert (acoustic guitar); Vince Gill (electric guitar); Eddie Rivers (steel guitar); Jonathan Doyle (clarinet); Dave Alexander (trumpet); Michael Mordecai (trombone); Paul Shaffer, John Michael Whitby, Floyd Domino (piano); Dave Miller, Kevin Smith (bass guitar); David Sanger (drums); Peter Schwarz .
Muze PNote Audio Mixers: Ray Benson; Sam Seifert; Adam Odor.
Muze PNote Audio Remasterers: Don Cobb; Eric Conn.
Muze PNote Liner Note Author: Ray Benson.
Muze PNote Recording information: Bismeaux Studios, Austin, TX; Blackbird Studios, Nashville, TN; Perdenales Studios.
Muze PNote Photographer: Lisa Pollard .
Muze PNote Arranger: Ray Benson.
Muze PNote Bringing Willie Nelson and Western Swing revivalists Asleep at the Wheel together for an album of Western Swing classics was a dream project for legendary producer Jerry Wexler, who had wanted to do it back in the 1970s, when Willie was still with Atlantic. (It wound up being one of the last recordings he worked on before his death in 2008.) Better late than never, Nelson and the band finally teamed up for WILLIE AND THE WHEEL.
Muze PNote The Wheel had recently backed Willie up on tour, so they knew just how to make their sound work for the singer, and sure enough, Nelson's vocals fit the band's tight-but-swinging sound like the proverbial glove. Tackling tunes made famous by Bob Wills and others, they keep it traditional, staying within the stylistic template established some six decades earlier, but still stamping the project with plenty of their own distinctive personality.

Producer: Ray Benson; Jerry Wexler; Ray Benson; Peter Schwarz

Engineer: Sam Seifert; Adam Odor; Vance Powell; Boo MacLeod; Sam Seifert; Adam Odor; William Armstrong

Musical Guests
Muze Guest Artist Paul Shaffer
Muze Guest Artist Vince Gill

Compilation Appearances

Muze Music Compilations Dare To Dream...Best Of Don Wa
Muze Music Compilations Country Goes Raffi
Muze Music Compilations Ultimate Country Super Hits
Muze Music Compilations Hit The Road:route 66
Muze Music Compilations Drive Time
Muze Music Compilations Ultimate Grammy Collection: Contemporary Country
Muze Music Compilations Strait Out Of The Box
Muze Music Compilations 30 Years Of Stony(2cd/dvd(w/ Bonus DVD)
Muze Music Compilations Duets

Associated Artists and Works

Nelson, Willie
Willie & The Wheel [Digipak] ~ Nelson, Willie
Willie Nelson & Asleep At The Wheel (Deluxe Editio ~ Nelson, Willie
It's A Good Day [Digipak] ~ Rausch, Leon
It's A Good Day ~ Rausch, Leon
Riders In The Sky
Riders in the Sky

Technical Info

Music Release Date Release Date : 02/03/2009
Music Original Release Date Original Release Date : 2009
Music CatalogId Catalog ID : 1287
Music Label Name Label : Bismeaux Productions
Music Number of Discs Number of Discs : 1
Music Studio or Live Studio/Live : Studio
Music Mono or Stereo Mono/Stereo : Stereo
Music SPAR code SPAR Code : n/a
Music UPC UPC : 00020286128724

Professional Reviews

JazzTimes (p.113)
- "[T]he headliners are supremely comfortable with each other....Benson carries his share of the vocal burdens with a rusticated charm, most memorably on 'Oh! You Pretty Woman.'"

Dirty Linen (p.47)
- "Besides AATW's exemplary playing and Nelson's own inimitable vocals and syncopated phrasing, this collaboration stands uniquely on its own..."

Billboard (p.33)
- "[T]he top-notch players do a fine job of interpretation here....The set is so authentic one almost feels guilty listening to it on modern speakers instead of seated around the old Victrola."

Uncut (magazine)
(p.117)
- 4 stars out of 5 -- "[M]usically immaculate....[With] smooth vocal harmonies over tight rhythms that have a demon fiddle/guitar/piano solo lurking in every niche."

American Songwriter 9 of 10
For as open-armed Willie Nelson has proven to be with his music over the decades - pairing up with everyone from Waylon Jennings to Ryan Adams, and Wynton Marsalis to Stephen Colbert - it's no doubt the Outlaw has been approached for more collaborations than even his expansive catalog lets on. As it turns out, one pitch from producer Jerry Wexler, during Willie's transformative years with Atlantic Records in the '70s, to create a western swing concept album has only now been picked for recording...The resulting album, Willie and the Wheel, shows Willie teamed up once again with trad-country powergroup Asleep at the Wheel for a retrofitted look at some country swing staples. Spanning 12 tracks, the album includes such remakes as "Corrine Corrina," "Right or Wrong" and "I'm Sittin' on Top of the World." Vince Gill and Letterman's right-hand keymeister Paul Schaffer guest on one cover of "Shame on You," originally penned by '50s fiddle guru Spade Cooley...A pall may have been cast over the album's February 3 [2009] release on Bismeaux Records - to coincide with a 10-stop joint tour - due to Wexler's death last August [2008], but shortly before, he was able to produce his long-awaited album. "I'm glad we got to do it for him, and that he heard it before he passed on," said Nelson. - Dustin Allen

Bio

Willie Nelson and Asleep at the Wheel

Willie and the Wheel 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."

Better known as 'Mr. R&B', Jerry Wexler was a great fan of the original Western Swing bands like Bob Wills, Milton Brown, Cliff Bruner -- all first introduced to him while he was studying journalism in Kansas City. Willie Nelson also had grown up on western swing and it has always figured heavily into his approach to music. Finally Ray Benson and Asleep at the Wheel (hailed as the modern kings of western swing) were added, resulting in a sublime album, surefooted in its mastery but still as playful and daring as the originals. Such a fitting collaboration certainly begs the question as to why this hasn't happened already.

In 2003 Jerry Wexler, who was retired and living in Florida, called his old friend Ray. "'Ray!'" Benson recalls, "'I'm getting rid of my LPs! They collect dust and it bothers me. I have recorded them all and I am sending you all my western swing albums!' I told Jerry thank you very much and how much I appreciated him thinking of me. Well, a few weeks later a box arrived with twenty or so LP's from Jerry. They were collections of the music originally on 78 rpm records reissued on 33 1/3 rpm LPs and although I had a few of them they were a welcome addition to my collection. I noticed that a number of the song titles had two initials next to them: 'WN.' I didn't think much about it but when I talked to Jerry to thank him I asked what they were. He explained that 'WN' stood for Willie Nelson."

In 2007, Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, Ray Price and Asleep at the Wheel set out on the wildly successful Last of the Breed tour and PBS television broadcast -- showcasing classic western swing and Texas country music. Not long after, Ray Benson got the call from Willie and his manager.

According to Ray, they asked, "'Jerry Wexler thinks now's the time to do the western swing CD. You've got the LPs don't you?' It took me a second to realize what they were talking about and once I put two and two together I answered 'Yes of course!' I went to the shelf and pulled out the LP's. Sure enough there were the penned-in 'WN's' by certain songs and so I went to work."

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."

Product Attributes
Product attributeArtist:   Nelson,Willie
Product attributeMusic Format:   Compact Disc
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