Grammy award-winning band to perform in Victoria

Ismael Perez By Ismael Perez

Dec. 13, 2017 at 6 p.m.
Updated Dec. 14, 2017 at 6 a.m.

Asleep at the Wheel

Asleep at the Wheel   Mike Shore for The Victoria Advocate

Ray Benson said no one plays Texas Christmas the way his band does.

The band members get a Christmas tune and give it a western twist as soon as the plucking of a mandolin brings a Texan style to the audience's holiday favorites.

The eight-time Grammy award-winning band Asleep at the Wheel will perform their "Merry Texas Christmas Y'all" show Sunday at the Victoria Fine Arts Center.

"Nobody else does western swing Christmas, or Texas Christmas," said Benson, who performs lead guitar and vocals. "Our concerts are all about Texas."

Benson said the Christmas tour started sometime after the release of "Merry Texas Christmas Y'all," their 1997 album.

"In December, people kept asking if we could play some of the songs; they really just wanted to hear it," Benson said. "We used to do it occasionally before, but we started doing it regularly for the last three years."

The performance is part of a 12-day tour for the band.

In addition to Benson, Asleep at the Wheel is made up of Katie Shore on fiddle and vocals; David Sanger on drums; Eddie Rivers on steel and sax; Dennis Ludiker on fiddle, mandolin and vocals; Josh Hoag on bass; Connor Forsyth on piano and vocals; and Jay Reynolds on sax and clarinet.

"The concert is a little bit of what we have recorded for the past 47 years with added Christmas songs," Benson said.

He said the audience will be able to hear anything from their first 1972 album to their latest album - "Still the King; Celebrating the Music of Bob Wills."

The band will perform songs like "You, Me and a Christmas Tree," "Baby, It's Cold Outside" and "Feliz Navidad."

He said they will also perform "Pretty Paper," which features Willie Nelson on "Merry Texas Christmas Y'all," their 1997 album.

In addition to eight Grammys, the band has been nominated 27 times, according to Grammy.com

After almost 50 years, Benson said he never gets tired of going on tours and performing at cities, big or small.

"People ask me, 'When are you on tour?' and I respond with 'Yes,'" he joked, saying they are on tour almost the whole year. "We just love touring."

Benson said the concert is for people who want to hear their holiday favorites with a touch of Texas country.

"If you like Texas music and Asleep at the Wheel, come on out," he said.


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