and has been performing with her band the SmartAlecks since then. She is no longer with Asleep at the Wheel, but most likely still has their logo tattooed on her right arm, and was arguably their best vocalist ever; 4. It was recorded while blues great Johnny Nicholas was with Asleep at the Wheel. “One guys would play Steely Dan, and another Bull Moose Jackson. ... Virginian Chris O'Connell; and Gene Dobkin, a bass play... Read More. Berkeleyside relies on reader support so we can remain free to access for everyone in our community. Produced by Norro Wilson, the album was almost completely out of step with mainstream country, and as such it did not sell particularly well. The instrumental solos are as enjoyable as the vocals. View credits, reviews, tracks and shop for the 1975 Indianapolis Pressing Vinyl release of Texas Gold on Discogs. I got my first pro singing job with a band of scruffs playing country music. These are all master players and each is a stand-alone star. “I’ve known Bobby for 40 years and have had the pleasure of touring with him and doing plenty of pick-up jobs with him over the years,” says O’Connell, who lives in Alameda. Members include Ray Benson (born Ray Benson Seifert on March 16, 1951, in Philadelphia, PA; original member), guitar, vocals; Chris Booher, piano; Cindy Cashdollar, dobro; Floyd Domino (born Jim Haber; joined group 1972; left group 1978), piano; Michael Francis, saxophone; Danny Levin (born 1949, in Philadelphia, PA; joined group 1974; left group early 1980s), fiddle, mandolin; Bill Mabry (joined group 1975; left group late 1970s), fiddle; David Miller, bass; Lucky Oceans (born Reuben Gosfield on April 22, … I stood five feet away from him for a couple of hours, and it was so inspiring.”. Let’s get connected –  where’s your ticket. Plus, the group was heavily in debt, forcing the bandmembers to work on … The songbook relied on Western swing and country music, with a few notable originals by drummer Leroy Preston. After being mentioned in Rolling Stone magazine by Van Morrison, they landed a record deal with United Artists. He was the other black country and western singer on Capitol.”. It was also the first of a pair of eponymous albums; another album titled Asleep at the Wheel would be released about a decade later by MCA.. Asleep At The Wheel It all started when Ray Benson, Floyd Domino, and Lucky Oceans, along with a Vermont farm boy named Leroy Preston; Virginian Chris O'Connell; and Gene Dobkin, a bass player and fellow classmate of Benson's from Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio, joined forces. A charter member of Grammy-winning band Asleep at the Wheel, and now back with a solo album called \ Like in Asleep, O’Connell supports herself with expert rhythm guitar work, and brings poise and authority to an unlikely array of songs drawn from jazz, blues, R&B and of course the country canon. “Not with the Basie band but with a small group made up of a couple of Basie guys. The crowds loved him. It was because of Green that she switched from a flat top guitar to an arch top. Photo of ASLEEP AT THE WHEEL UNITED STATES - JANUARY 01: Photo of ASLEEP AT THE WHEEL; L-R (back): Ray Benson; (middle): Leroy Preston, Danny Levin, Chris O'Connell, Scott Hennige, Floyd Domino, Tony Garnier; (front): Lucky Oceans, Bill Mabry, Link Davis Jr posed, (Photo by Charlie Gillett Collection/Redferns) They had the groove and it seemed old and new. And then, as happens in audiences, the feeling moves on to the next person, and the next. Donate to help us continue to provide you with reliable, independent reporting. “We would pack the place. He also reports for the San Jose Mercury News, San Francisco Chronicle, and KQED’s California Report. By Dan Forte. He formed Asleep at the Wheel in Paw Paw, West Virginia in 1970, along with longtime friend Lucky Oceans (born Reuben Gosfield; steel guitar) and Leroy Preston (rhythm guitar). We made hit records and worked with the greatest stars of every kind of music and saw every glorious and funky side of show biz. Asleep at the Wheel "Merry Texas Christmas Y'all" with special guest, Chris O’Connell Thursday, December 5th Doors: 7 PM / Show: 8 PM $20.00 - $40.00 Sales Ended Share Share with Friends Facebook Twitter Add To Calendar Add to Calendar iCal Google Don’t forget, if you spend $50 bucks on our store from now until the 31st will automatically be entered to win a meet and greet with Ray Benson! People just showed up, way beyond capacity. After singing commercial jingles in her native Baltimore and jazz in Las Vegas showrooms Price moved to San Francisco in 1969. Asleep at the Wheel. . A shy young woman with a big bold voice, she joined Asleep at the Wheel in 1970 when the incipient western swing juggernaut was still shacked up in West Virginia, woodshedding a repertoire of Grand Ole Opry standards. Ray Benson chatting with Asleep at the Wheel founding members and Alice Coopers manger, Shep Gordon about The Wheel's first ever show opening for Alice Cooper on August 25, 1970! It was like church. I first heard Chris O’Connell sing at the Longbranch Saloon in Berkeley, California, when she was the female vocalist with Asleep At the Wheel. It was a thrill to just see them together in a room, working their magic. 1982. She’s passionate about songwriting and the power of a good song, and is drawn to them regardless of genre.”, O’Connell credits her parents with opening her years to jazz. 3. Find out more. Plus, the group was heavily in debt, forcing the bandmembers to work on commercials and movie soundtracks. Floyd Domino was playing piano with the Wheel and he got everyone hooked on Count Basie,” which led to the band’s first Grammy Award for “One O’clock Jump.”. writes a weekly music column for Berkeleyside. I don’t want to bruise anybody; I just want an idea or a mood or a feeling to hit hard enough to rearrange your safe thinking for a minute. “He played with the Wheel for a time in the ’80s, but we met in Oakland in ’71. But that band always grew in ways that let me push all my limits and skills. It was recorded while blues great Johnny Nicholas was with Asleep at the Wheel. The musicianship of Asleep at the Wheel has become the stuff of legends. It has the stunning vocals of Chris O'Connell on several tracks. Plus, the group was heavily in debt, forcing the bandmembers to work on … 20:57. Visit Berkeleyside’s new-look Events Calendar. I’m a singer. We decided to connect certain musicians with each song, according to its tone and texture. Music propagates our unity, our empathy. In those moments, strangers are as connected to one another as they ever will be. “Be Right Back!” is my first solo album. It has the stunning vocals of Chris O'Connell on several tracks. Her SmartAleck book includes the work of Merle Haggard and Louis Jordan, Mose Allison and Rodgers and Hart, the Beatles, Tammy Wynette, Hazel Dickens, Willie Nelson, and Hank Williams. Chris O’Connell was only 18 when she signed up for the ride of her life. Chris O’Connell was only 18 when she signed up for the ride of her life. “It was a dollar to get in, which included one free beer,” O’Connell recalls. She spent 15 tumultuous years with the band, including nine albums and Asleep’s first Grammy Award, but largely left her performing career aside after leaving the band to raise her daughter. This is where we’re at our human best. While she performed around the Austin scene after leaving Asleep at the Wheel, O’Connell is still in the process of reinventing herself as a solo act. She mom filled the house with Ella Fitzgerald and Keely Smith and her father loved traditional New Orleans jazz. Every one of these songs has something that makes me either laugh or cry or dream in full color. New Releases. “Chris is very knowledgeable and unpretentious and funny. The record offers started coming in and The Wheel got rolling. Read. Asleep at the Wheel is bringing you a very special 90-minute holiday livestream on December 19th at 7 pm CST! I was 18. Since moving back to the East Bay in 2010 O’Connell has gradually started establishing a career under her own name, and she plays her first Berkeley gig in some three decades 8 p.m. Saturday at the Back Room with her band the SmartAlecks and a special guest, pedal steel great Bobby Black. He formed Asleep at the Wheel in Paw Paw, WV, in 1970, along with longtime friend Lucky Oceans (born Reuben Gosfield; steel guitar) and Leroy Preston (rhythm guitar). Asleep at the Wheel moved to MCA for 1980's Framed, but all was not well: founding member Lucky Oceans left the group that year, and Chris O'Connell took a leave of absence to start a family not long after. December 6, 2019. I measure songs by their ricochet power. Find Chris O'Connell credit information on AllMusic. Read his previous Berkeleyside reviews. "Be Right Back" is available now! ... Asleep at the Wheel is an outstanding album from start to finish: the material is impeccable, and the musicians are excellent. For the next fifteen years we hammered it out on the road the hard, hard way. Asleep at the Wheel is an American country band based in Austin, Texas.Formed in Paw … We even took Stoney Edwards in there and backed him up. They were maybe 20. Some of my oldest friends happen to be some of the best old song writers, and we wanted to throw more light on them, have some fun with their work. The Basie sound left an enduring imprint on O’Connell, particularly via the purring engine of Count’s All American Rhythm Section, rhythm guitar master Freddie Green. Asleep at the Wheel es un grupo estadounidense de música country formado en Paw Paw (Virginia Occidental), [1] aunque con base actual en Austin (Texas).. Juntos han ganado nueve premios Grammy desde su formación en 1970. We just put them in a room, tuned up and let the song breathe. They soon added a female singer in Chris O'Connell, who was fresh out of high school. She is no longer with Asleep at the Wheel, but most likely still has their logo tattooed on her right arm, and was arguably their best vocalist ever; 4. 1974’s Asleep at the Wheel was the band’s second release and the first for Epic Records. Donate to Berkeleyside and support independent local journalism. Finally! “She has a real knack for connecting with powerful songs, and accessing the emotional core of a song,” says Bloom, a veteran accompanist who works with some of the region’s greatest singers, including San Francisco jazz legend Mary Stallings and rising Oakland song stylist Suzanna Smith. “Be Right Back!” is my return as a rider on the Melody Train. -Elvis Costello. -Buddy Miller, "Chris O'Connell sings so great on that terrific Roger Miller ballad . Han sacado más de 20 álbumes de estudio y tenido veinte singles en los Billboard de country . Asleep at the Wheel is bringing you a very special 90-minute holiday livestream on December 19th at 7 pm CST! Chris O\'Connell sings Americana, country, jazz, R&B, blues, & torch ballads like nobody else. They soon added a female singer in Chris O'Connell, who was fresh out of high school. "…like a combination of Connie Smith, Sarah Vaughan and Sugar Pie DeSanto all rolled up into one…." 3. Asleep at the Wheel moved to MCA for 1980's Framed, but all was not well: founding member Lucky Oceans left the group that year, and Chris O'Connell took a leave of absence to start a family not long after. They called themselves Asleep at the Wheel. Asleep at the Wheel moved to MCA for 1980's Framed, but all was not well: founding member Lucky Oceans left the group that year, and Chris O'Connell took a leave of absence to start a family not long after. Nonprofit newsFree for all, funded by readers, COVID-19: Vaccine updates ● The numbers ● Latest news ● Pitch in for local workers | Berkeleyside is hiring | PLUS: The Oaklandside. Chris O’Connell joins Benson for a duet of John Hiatt’s “This Is The Way We Make A Broken Heart,” a tune Rosanne Cash would take to #1 a few years later. I got goosebumps while recording some of the tracks for her new CD; she's truly one of a kind.- Cindy Cashdollar. In 1969, Ray Benson and Lucky Oceans (Reuben Gosfield) co-founded Asleep at the Wheel in Paw Paw, West Virginia, and soon after they found themselves opening for Alice Cooper and Hot Tuna in Washington, DC. About this show. The band features her partner Don Margraf on electric guitar, double bassist Brandon Essex, drummer Alex Aspinall and pianist Lee Bloom. 30 June 1975 [no 13758] Nashville, TN - Asleep At The Wheel (Chris O' Connell [banjo], Johnny Gimble [el mandolin], Billy Briggs [tenor sax], Bobby Womack [trumpet], Mike O' Dowd [clarinet]. Asleep At The Wheel ‎– Asleep At The Wheel Label: Epic ‎– KE 33097 Format: Vinyl, LP, Album, Terre Haute Pressing. They found cheap rent and a receptive scene. Su mayor éxito "The Letter That Johnny Walker Read", fue número 10 en 1975. Jazz vocalist Maryann Price leads her own jazz trio and is one half of the eclectic duo Ethyl’n Methyl, along with Asleep At The Wheel alumnus Chris O'Connell. A year later, they moved to East Oakland, California, at the invitation of Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen. It’s a good thing she has a vast array of material and musical connections to work with. Country: US ... Chris O'Connell, Leroy Preston Lead Vocals – Ray Benson Saxophone – Andy Stein Trumpet – Bill Joor Written-By – D. Darling*, M. Gabler*, V. Horton* At last! “I got a chance to see him several times,” she says. The Wheel’s first California demo was done at the studio Bobby and his brother Larry owned in San Carlos. She started listening on her own to Dinah Washington and Anita O’Day, but got a whole other education with Asleep at the Wheel “because everyone would bring cassettes on the bus,” she says. I still have the recordings, including one Tex Ritter song called ‘I Can’t Get My Foot Off the Rail.’”. Before moving to Texas in 1974 at the invitation of Willie Nelson and becoming an Austin institution the band played every Tuesday night at The Longbranch, the storied and oft-rechristened club at 2504 San Pablo Avenue (now home of Good Vibrations). Merry Texas Christmas Y'all from sunny California! Asleep at the Wheel moved to MCA for 1980’s Framed, but all was not well: founding member Lucky Oceans left the group that year, and Chris O’Connell took a leave of absence to start a family not long after. Asleep at the Wheel OAKLAND, CA - JULY 9: (L-R) Leroy Preston, Ray Benson driver, Gene Dobkin, Lucky Oceans, Chris O'Connell and Floyd Domino of the music group Asleep at the Wheel pose for a portrait as they sit in a pick-up truck on July 9, 1972 in Oakland, California. We started work on it in 2009 and spent about a year just picking songs. Plus, the group was heavily in debt, forcing the bandmembers to work on … In 1973, their debut album, Comin' Right at Ya, was released by United Artists. Submit your own events for free if they aren’t there already — and give them featured status for just a few dollars a day. Find Chris O'Connell credit information on AllMusic AllMusic. Producer: Tommy Allsup) 033 81368 FAT BOY RAG 4187/ST-11441 30 June 1975 [no 13763] Nashville, TN - Asleep At The Wheel (Producer: Tommy Allsup) Chris O'Connell's solo album, A… Reuter’s pegged The Wheel as "one of the best live acts in the business." He also reports for the San Jose Mercury News, San Francisco Chronicle, and KQED’s California Report. Van Morrison Rolling Stone Interview (1973). O’Connell and Asleep at the Wheel had already played some high profile gigs opening for Alice Cooper and Hot Tuna when they relocated to Oakland in 1971 at the urging of Commander Cody (aka George Frayne IV). 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