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Ride With Bob

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Album Review

Asleep at the Wheel devoted its entire career to Western swing, which is commonly known as the music Bob Wills created. They became the standard bearers for the genre, making sure that it was still an integral part of the country music mainstream. Since their entire career feels like a living monument to Wills, it almost seems unnecessary for them to record tributes to the "King of Western Swing" — that is, until you hear the records. Ride With Bob, their sequel to the award-winning Tribute to the Music of Bob Wills, has more guest appearances than its predecessor, but it's every bit as enjoyable. The fact of the matter is, Asleep at the Wheel played this music better than anybody else at the close of the century, and these are some of the greatest songs in popular music — "New San Antonio Rose," "Roly Poly," "Cherokee Maiden," "Right or Wrong," "Faded Love," "Take Me Back to Tulsa," and "Stay All Night" always sound fresh, and the band draws out excellent performances from Dwight Yoakam, the Dixie Chicks, Ray Benson, Reba McEntire, Lyle Lovett and Shawn Colvin, Clay Walker, and Mark Chesnutt, respectively, on these songs. It's a testament to both the group and the songs that nobody here — not the Squirrel Nut Zippers or Manhattan Transfer — sounds out of place. This is warm, generous, rich music that's endlessly listenable, much like Wills himself. And the Clint Black-sung cover of Waylon Jennings' tribute "Bob Wills Is Still the King" is a nice touch.

Customer Reviews

till the cows come home

ah ha, good old Bob


Formed: 1970 in Paw Paw, WV

Genre: Country

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Since the early '70s, Asleep at the Wheel have been the most important force in keeping the sound of Western swing alive. In reviving the freewheeling, eclectic sensibility of Western swing godfather Bob Wills, the Wheel have earned enthusiastic critical praise throughout their lengthy career; they have not only preserved classic sounds that had all but disappeared from country music, but have also been able to update the music, keeping it a living, breathing art form. Typically featuring eight to...
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Ride With Bob, Asleep At the Wheel
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