ACL Fest Friday Reviews

ACL Fest Friday Reviews

Asleep at the Wheel

Reinventing the Wheel (Bismeaux)

While it may not be reinventing their signature style, Asleep at the Wheel's first album of new material in almost a decade does swing full circle by returning to their early formation of tri-shared lead vocals. Ray Benson's comfortable drawl finds appropriate complements in Jason Roberts' countrified twang and Elizabeth McQueen's saucy jazz verve, the three encompassing the typically broad extension of the group's Texas swing roots, though the vocal trio unfortunately only unites behind 1999 Ride With Bob holdover "Misery." The Blind Boys of Alabama add an exuberantly haphazard call-and-response chorus to opener "The Devil Ain't Lazy" before Benson kicks into the jive-jumping blues of Mose Allison's "Your Mind Is on Vacation." Roberts' original "Am I Right (or Amarillo)" gives the clever adage a honky-tonk spin, his fiddle rollicking alongside Eddie Rivers' steel guitar, while McQueen reworks "I'm an Old Cowhand (From the Rio Grande)" with a debutante's cheeky aloofness. Closing with Guy Clark's "The Cape" lends Reinventing the Wheel its greatest divergence simply for the song's fairly straightforward rendering, though Benson's seasoned voice adds a touching and sincere nostalgia to the band's usual freewheeling antics. (12:30pm, AMD stage)

***

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More by Doug Freeman
Jerry Jeff Walker Brought the Magic (1942-2020)
Jerry Jeff Walker Brought the Magic (1942-2020)
“Mr. Bojangles” author catalyzed Seventies progressive country

Oct. 24, 2020

New Austin Music Worth Your Bandwidth This Week
New Austin Music Worth Your Bandwidth This Week
What we’re listening to

Oct. 23, 2020

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Asleep at the Wheel

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle