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Asleep At The Wheel

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Everybody is talking about Austin, Texas, nowadays. "San Francisco of the 70's," "cultural hotspot" and "Nice Place" are all phrases coined by those impressed with the recent goings on in Austin. Commander Cody and his pals recorded their latest, live at the Armadillo World Headquarters there, and Asleep at the Wheel recently settled there by way of Oakland and West Virginia. The wide open spaces, Lone Star Beer and the musical heritage that o with Austin, and Texas in general make it an ideal setting for a band like "The Wheel." When AATW cruised into Ann Arbor, they brought a little Count Basie, a bit of Fats Domino and a fine shitload of western swing. It isn't often that you can hear a band and leave with the knowledge that that band can play just about any style of music you care to hear, and well. 1 first heard AATW a few years back in Berkeley and I was immediately floored- I've been a fan ever since. The only thing about the band's three night gig at Mr. Flood's Party that really bugged me was the intensity of obnoxiousness generated by the audience. When a band as good as "The Wheel" travels four thousand miles for a small bucks engagement they deserve respect. All seriousness aside though, it ain't hard to have a good time when there's music like this around. Essential to "The Wheel's" existence is making the audience have a good time, and they are masters of the craft. Bob Wills would have been proud of "The Wheels" rendition of "Take Me Back To Tulsa" and the Count would have flipped over Floyd Domino's interpretation of" "The Shoeshine Rag." I'll take the liberty of quoting Domino who in a looser moment quipped, "well I went deaf six months ago, but we sounded good then so we must sound good now."