Riding the recent success of Ride With Bob, DreamWorks Nashville will release Asleep at the Wheel’s “Cherokee Maiden” as a single on March 27.
The song’s video has already received ample airplay on CMT, and the album has picked up two Grammy awards. The band is also up for Album of the Year and Top Vocal Duo or Group of the Year at the 35th annual Academy of Country Music Awards to be broadcast May 3 on CBS. Longtime frontman Ray Benson told country.com that he and his bandmates are enjoying this latest shower of acclaim.
“We’ve had good runs before, but at this point it’s so much easier to appreciate,” said Benson, who won his first Grammy with the Wheel in 1978.
The band really will be riding with Bob starting Saturday. Bob Dylan has tapped the veteran act to open his tour, which kicks off March 11 in San Luis Obispo, Calif. Benson said he first met Dylan through former Wheel bass player Tony Garnier, who is now playing in Dylan’s band. “I had called him (Dylan) up and said, ‘If you ever need an opening act, let us know cause we’d love to go out with you Bob,’” Benson said. “We jammed together one time and hung out a few times and got to like each other a little bit, and that was it.”
After wrapping up the Dylan tour in Denver on April 6, the band will then take a quick promotional trip to Germany before joining up with the George Strait Music Festival on its opening night April 29 in Charlotte, N.C. The idea that the same band can open for Dylan and Strait is inspiring to Benson.
“We’ve always felt it was music that could appeal to a large group of people,” Benson explained. “For some people it’s nostalgic, for some people it’s new, some people it’s hip and for some people it’s country. It’s really what we’ve been striving to do all these years.”