Willie Nelson & Asleep at the Wheel – Willie and the Wheel

Willie and the Wheel

Willie Nelson & Asleep at the WheelWillie and the Wheel Bismeaux Records BR 1287 (2009)

Willie Nelson has always loved western swing.  Recent albums like You Don’t Know Me evidenced that fascination.  Teamed with Asleep at the Wheel, Willie and the Wheel is as self-consciously retro as it could be.  Every song reaches to reproduce the sound of a classic 1940s cut by Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys.  This record is a ton of fun.  Yet, it also can’t get past its obligations to maintaining its “retro” sound.  So this glides by somewhat on the surface.  Willie has offered quite a lot of music at that level in his later years.  It’s almost a very good one, but lacks a little something hard to put a finger on.