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St. Cecilia Music Center Brings Country Swing Band ‘Asleep at the Wheel’ to Grand Rapids on April 11th

St. Cecilia Music Center (SCMC) will bring Asleep at the Wheel to Grand Rapids on Thursday, April 11 in a rousing performance of the band’s newest album, New Routes. The show in Grand Rapids will follow six straight performances by the Wheel in their home state of Texas.

New Routes marks both a new path forward and a nod to one of Texas’ most beloved bands. Asleep at the Wheel are 10 time GRAMMY Award winners and have produced more than 25 studio and live albums in their 48 year history, After a decade of collaborating on records with friends, including Willie Nelson on 2009’s Willie and the Wheel, and paying ongoing tribute to the groundbreaking music of Western Swing pioneer Bob Wills, Asleep at the Wheel has marked a new beginning with their first album of new material in over a decade.

SCMC Executive Director Cathy Holbrook states, “We are so happy to bring Asleep at the Wheel back to Grand Rapids. They have a wonderful following in West Michigan and their new music will be highly anticipated by everyone who is fortunate to get a ticket to see this show.”

With recent band additions Katie Shore (fiddle, vocals), Dennis Ludiker (fiddle, mandolin) Connor Forsyth (keyboard, vocals) and Josh Hoag (bass), Asleep at the Wheel’s newest members have given a newfound energy and their own unique style to the band. Asleep at the Wheel veterans Ray Benson (Founder and lead guitar and vocals), David Sanger (drums) Eddie Rivers (steel guitar) and Jay Reynolds (saxophone and clarinet) round out the 8-piece band,

With a bracing blend of original songs and vibrant cover material and some unanticipated new musical tangents, Asleep at the Wheelvdemonstrates convincingly that they are more relevant, enjoyable and musically nimble than any time in their 45-year history.

That driving principle comes into distinct focus on New Routes. “It’s a nice additionv(to the Wheel’s catalog) because it explores music we haven’t explored before and it highlights the people who are in the band right now,” says drummer David Sanger who, with 32 years under his belt, is the longest-running band member next to Ray Benson.

“Part of the new music is part of the Wheel’s repertoire of country, jazz, jump blues, rockabilly, Western Swing and folk,” says bassist Josh Hoag, “but part of it is going in new directions. Coming from the tradition but taking it forward.”

“This was a chance to re-invent the Wheel,” explains founding member of the band Ray Benson. “These are creative folks who can add stuff. I’m just the bandleader, so if I don’t have contributions from everybody, then the Wheel doesn’t roll.”

Concert tickets are $43and $38and can be purchased by calling St. Cecilia Music Center at 616-459-2224 or visiting the box office at 24 Ransom Ave. NE. Tickets can also be purchased online at www.scmc-online.org. A post-concert “Meet-the-artist” party, with complimentary wine and beer from Acoustic Cafe Folk Series Sponsor Gremlin Brewing, willbe offered to all ticket-holders giving the audience the opportunity to meet the artists and to obtain signed CDs of their releases.

Asleep at the Wheel is the 6th concert in SCMC’s Acoustic Cafe Folk Series for the 2018/2019 135th Anniversary season. Just three concerts remain until the season closes on April 25th.

Remaining Concerts for the 2018/2019 Season include:

Asleep at the Wheel on April 11, 2019. Over their history, Asleep at The Wheel has earned ten GRAMMY Awards and released more than 25 studio and live albums, and there is no sign of them slowing down any time soon. The band’s release, Still the King: Celebrating the Music of Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys, garnered the 2016 GRAMMY Award for Best Recording Package. New Routes, their brand-new album released in September 2018, marks both a new path forward and a nod to their freewheeling roots as one of Texas’ most beloved bands.

Guitarist Leo Kottke will return to SCMC on April 18, 2019. Over his many years of writing and performing, Kottke has composed scores for film soundtracks, children’s shows, and a symphony, as well as, released many albums. Focusing primarily on instrumental composition and playing, Kottke also sings sporadically, in an unconventional yet expressive baritone. In concert, Kottke intersperses humorous and monologues with vocal and instrumental selections played solo on his 6- and 12-string guitars.
The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center will perform on April 25, 2018 with a program titled From Mendelssohn. Jakob Ludwig Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdi was a German composer, pianist, musical conductor, and teacher, as well as, one of the most-celebrated figures of the early Romantic period, the artistic movement that exalted feeling and imagination above rigid forms and traditions in music. During his short life, he combined mastery of melody, form, counterpoint, and the chamber idiom that was admired and imitated by composers for generations. This moving concert, performed by the exquisite Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, will begin and finish with two of Mendelssohn’s works from 1845, two years before his untimely death at the age of 38. Within the program, the audience will also hear from composer Robert Schumann who was one of Mendelssohn’s close friends and created works inspired by him. Brahms also recalled Mendelssohn’s lyricism with his own work which depicts the viola’s dark voice. Mendelssohn’s great admirer Tchaikovsky also created works that combined Mendelssohn’s German’s signature scherzo idiom with his own Russian melancholy and splendor in three selections from The Seasons for solo piano. CMS musicians performing for the final concert of the season will include pianist Inon Barnatan, violinist Cho-Liang Lin, violist Paul Neubauer, cellist Jakob Koranyi, and clarinetist Romie de Guise-Langlois.