Asleep at the Wheel with Carolyn Wonderland – Antone’s, TX

Ray Benson and Ruby James
Ray Benson and Ruby Jane Smith

Asleep at the Wheel and Carolyn Wonderland put on a private show celebrating AatW’s tribute to Bob Wills cast and crew and Ray Benson’s record label Bismeaux at Antone’s on Wednesday afternoon.

Because the show was listed on Carolyn’s website as a free, all-ages show, a few fans were let in as well.

Ray Benson played master of ceremonies telling the audience they were welcome to dance or stand around before they started.

San Antone Rose

Benson introduced the next song as “a little Bob Wills for y’all.”

Route 66

Some “fellas” from the play were introduced as Jason Roberts and some other guy named Roberts, who were not brothers and then they played

Elizabeth McQueen
Elizabeth McQueen

Faded Love

Ray talked about how Jason plays Bob Wills in the play and then he introduced Ruby Jane Smith, the youngest and newest cast member.

She started playing fiddle when she was 2 and moved to Austin from Mississippi last year to join the group.

Ray joked that she used to play piano but she hadn’t picked one up in awhile.

She said she was going to play a mighty swift tune and told Ray to “please try and keep
up.”

Black and White Rag

Ray told Ruby that it sounded like she had an encore.

She said that she had come to Texas in September and she figured she had better learn a Texas fiddle tune so she played

Bowman’s Rag

Ray introduced Tim Carry from the play to sing

Sitting on Top of the World

Ray explained that Wills had a slight drinking problem and that Jason did a good job of portraying him in the play.

There was some discussion about picking cotton on West Texas

All of this wrapped around to Ray saying that they were gonna play a little

Misery

Ray said that this show was for Bismeaux Records and studio and “whatever the hell else they got” and said that they were going to play the theme song for Bob Wills’ radio show before Carolyn Wonderland came out.

Ray introduced Carolyn by saying her album was a smash hit on his label and that they were the most “cooking trio since Jimi Hendrix.”

(Note: I’m guessing on the titles to some of these, please let me know if you know what they should be. Thanks.)

I Live Alone With Someone

She thanked everyone and went into

I Found The Lions

She talked about how they had “so much fun doing this record” and that her first drummer, Uncle John, got to hear this song and she was so glad. She said “God Bless Uncle John” and went into

Ray Benson and Carolyn Wonderland
Carolyn Wonderland and Ray Benson

Still Alive and Well

She said the next song was “almost a pretty song, so grab a loved one or a beer.” She said she was honored to be singing it and that she hoped “you all like it. If you don’t I’ll play something real ugly right after.”

Bad Girl Blues

“This is another song about people thinking I’m a bad girl. I guess thank yous are in order.”

Bad Girl

She said they had “time to sneak in a couple more, just don’t let on.”

Judgment Day Blues

She said the next song was a “rock hit from a previous album”

Something about hoping there’s a little left

She got up and switched instruments saying that the “slide has a very fancy case” and that the next song “some people call it the title track, but they’d be wrong” before playing

Misunderstood

Carolyn Wonderland
Carolyn Wonderland

Ray Benson and company came back out with Jill Jones and the “other young fiddler” to do a yodel song.

Something about nobody listening but the cows

Happy Trails

Take Me Back To Tulsa

Elizabeth took lead vocals on

Bar Dance Boogie

Ray brought out all the fiddlers and Elizabeth said that she thought “we officially have a section.” The response was “hell, this is the South Austin Symphony Orchestra.”

The four were instructed to play whatever they wanted in the key of D and they did a little number that way.

Finally, Carolyn Wonderland came back out and they did

Milk Cow Blues

Video of Milk Cow Blues

Someone mentioned that they needed to do one more song, because it was almost Ray Benson’s birthday so they sang Happy Birthday to him.

Happy Birthday Ray Benson video

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Photos by Nichole Wagner

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