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Pasture Prime

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Album Review

Part of Stony Plain's Classics series, this is actually a re-release of an album that was originally released in 1984 on vinyl in Canada and England. Pasture Prime was a comeback of sorts for the band; they had not recorded in five years, and — had it not been for the generosity of one Willie Nelson — this one might not have happened either. Nelson, a big fan of the band, graciously offered his Briarcliff, TX, studio for the recording of several of the songs here. Pasture Prime sports just two originals: founder Ray Benson's "Shorty" and "Liar's Moon." There are three Bob Wills tunes: "Across the Alley From the Alamo," the instrumental "Big Beaver," and the traditional "Deep Water." Fiddler Johnny Gimble is on board for nearly all cuts, and Jr. Brown makes one of his first recording appearances, playing lap steel guitar on "Deep Water" and "That's Your Red Wagon." The entire Roomful of Blues horn section brings an extra helping of Kansas City-style swing to Big Joe Turner's "Switchin' in the Kitchen," and female vocalist Chris O'Connell is in top form throughout. Not without a laugh, Willie Nelson contributes a hilarious song he wrote as a jab at music industry executives and country "purists" called "Write Your Own Song." As a duet between Nelson and Benson, it neatly segues into the traditional "Cotton Eyed Joe," which features some very nice piano playing at the hands of Floyd Domino. This CD of classic western swing closes with a friendly, informative, 17-minute interview with Benson, conducted by Holger Petersen just prior to the re-release.

Biography

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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Pasture Prime, Asleep At the Wheel
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