Ray Benson

A Little Piece (Bismeaux)

Texas Platters

Forty years leading Asleep at the Wheel doesn't mean there's not life beyond Western swing for Ray Benson. A Little Piece finds the towering bandleader all over the musical map but always with a hint of country. Moving beyond the jazzy strains of his first solo work, 2003's Beyond Time, he's a crooner, a folk singer, a rocker. What he's not this time out is an ace songwriter. With cloying themes and lyrics forced into melodies a tad too complex, no writer should ever admit, "I ain't got nothing to say" as he does on "Give Me Some Peace." The two sweet spots thus come from other writers. Waylon Jennings/Gary Nicholson composed "It Ain't You," featuring Willie Nelson in a duet about aging that's exceptionally stark and affecting, while Randy Newman's "Marie" – just a guitar and Benson's voice – chills to the bone.

**

READ MORE
More Ray Benson
Texas Book Festival Reviews
Comin' Right At Ya
Asleep at the Wheel bandleader Ray Benson describes his long, strange, Western Swing trip

Doug Freeman, Oct. 16, 2015

Off the Record
Off the Record
Music News

Austin Powell, Nov. 5, 2010

More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
Cody Jinks, Kim Simpson & Travis Green, Kim Simpson, Travis Green, and Cody Jinks
I'm Not the Devil, Songs & Sightings, A Little Too Late (Record Review)

Jim Caligiuri, Aug. 5, 2016

Texas Platters
Aaron Einhouse
It Ain't Pretty (Record Review)

Doug Freeman, June 24, 2016

More by Jim Caligiuri
Titan of the Telecaster Bill Kirchen
Titan of the Telecaster Bill Kirchen
The guitarist settles in Austin but flies Transatlanticana

Aug. 26, 2016

Texas Platters
Will Courtney
Planning Escapes (Record Review)

Aug. 5, 2016

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Ray Benson

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
AC Daily, Events and Promotions, Luvdoc Answers

Breaking news, recommended events, and more

Official Chronicle events, promotions, and giveaways

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)