Asleep at the Wheel and Mandy Barnett: Bob Wills Meets Patsy Cline

Asleep at the Wheel and Mandy Barnett: Bob Wills Meets Patsy Cline

Asleep at the Wheel, the legendary performers of Western Swing, country and blues, and Mandy Barnett, a world class vocalist in her own right, will perform together on the same stage as part of the Kenneth Threadgill Concert Series on Friday, July 19th at the historic Greenville Municipal Auditorium in a show they call “Bob Wills Meets Patsy Cline”.

It’s always a trip when the “post-modern kings of western swing” roll into town. However, this time when the 9-time GRAMMY-winning ensemble, Asleep at the Wheel, shows up they’ll be sharing the stage with one of the greatest female voices in American music today, Mandy Barnett. Led by the 6’7” Ray Benson, a man is who is larger than life, Asleep at the Wheel has become over its four-decade history the standard bearers for Bob Wills style of western swing. Mandy Barnett’s vocals are often compared to the great Patsy Cline, and through her career Mandy has often interpreted Cline’s classic repertoire in a variety of formats (recordings, theater). Thus, the pairing of these two artists is especially exciting.

Comments Ray Benson, “The concept we had was ‘What if Patsy Cline had met or played with Bob Wills?’ We’re not Bob Wills, she’s not Patsy Cline but we both draw from those great traditions. As a matter of fact, Patsy was Bob’s Wills favorite vocalist. She recorded Faded Love and San Antonio Rose, so we thought it was a great concept: what if they had worked together? We’re having some fun with that, Mandy’s voice can handle any music really. We do some Elvis tunes and rockabilly tunes. It’s all within our wheel house as we say in Asleep at the Wheel! It’s such a pleasure to work with her, she just adds this incredible classic voice.”

The musicianship of ASLEEP AT THE WHEEL has become the stuff of legend. Willie Nelson, Van Morrison, Bob Dylan and Lyle Lovett have all asked this top notch musical institution to back them for one-of-a-kind performances. The Las Vegas Sun wrote, “Hiring Asleep at the Wheel to be your backup band might seem like paying Picasso to paint your kitchen.”

Critics praise front man and founder, Ray Benson, as “Count Basie with a Cowboy Hat” and his band as the “Kings of Western Swing.” ASLEEP AT THE WHEEL is an enduring American music institution.

Mandy Barnett’s style is rooted in the classic country of Patsy Cline, Jim Reeves, Tammy Wynette, and Brenda Lee and the crooning of Ella Fitzgerald, Connie Francis, and Dinah Washington. Mandy delves into a song with a keen interpretive sense, studying the intricacies of its emotional content and rendering a powerful performance through her full-bodied voice.

Mandy has released critically applauded albums, including “Sweet Dreams,” which showcases Mandy’s renditions of Patsy Cline songs. Reviewers of “Sweet Dreams” have heralded Mandy’s talents as “one of the most beautiful ‘classic country’ female voices of all time. She has total control of her voice and sings effortlessly. Barnett is a true master of her craft.” Mandy has starred as “Patsy Cline” in the musical “Always...Patsy Cline” at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville on and off since 1994 – most recently in 2011 -- and she appears on the cast album. Mandy tours regularly, frequents the Grand Ole Opry, and has appeared on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” “The Late Show with David Letterman,” “CBS Sunday Morning,” PBS’s “Sessions at West 54th,” and numerous other programs.

with Special Guest: Heybale!

Austin supergroup Heybale! will open the show with the classic country sounds you can hear at their regular gig at the Continental Club in the Live Music Capitol of the World.

Ironically, the beginning of Heybale! was actually at the End -- a club in Nashville where the band played its first performance. The only “post-Nashville” members of the band at that time were Tom Lewis and Redd Volkaert, although they did meet a country singer named Gary Claxton who had recently moved to Nashville from Oklahoma.

In 2000, Tom decided to move to Austin where he ran into Earl Poole Ball – they had met previously at the Palomino in Hollywood nearly 10 years before then. Within that same year, Redd and Gary also relocated to Austin, and by June of 2000 Heybale! had been resurrected. Heybale! has been holding down Sunday nights at the Continental Club in Austin ever since.
In the current band incarnation, Tom is playing drums, Redd holds court on guitar, Earl pounds out the piano, Kevin Smith plays bass, and Dallas Wayne plays rhythm guitar.

Known for his work with Johnny Cash and Gram Parsons, Earl Poole Ball is a piano legend. Redd Vokaert was the longtime guitiarist for Merle Haggard, and Kevin Smith’s other gig is all in the Family as Willie Nelson’s bassist.

$30.00 - $55.00


ADA seats are set to accommodate guests with wheelchairs. Tickets for wheelchair seating and companion seating are available upon request and are subject to availability. To transfer from a wheelchair to a seat, please select and purchase a seat located close to the aisle. Elevator access is available to floor level seating, but not to balcony level seating. For more information on ADA seating, please contact the GMA at (903) 457-2994.

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