New Routes serves as Asleep at the Wheel's first new material in over a decade, a new chapter in the group's forty-eight year history with a fresh group of musicians and nimble musical palette. The eleven-track collection of both new and familiar country, jazz, jump blues, rockabilly, Western Swing and folk, offers a blend of originals, vibrant covers, superior musicianship, and a guest vocal appearance by Seth and Scott Avett of The Avett Brothers.
Comprised of founder/leader Ray Benson (lead guitar and vocals), Katie Shore (fiddle and vocals), Eddie Rivers (steel and sax), David Sanger (drums), Dennis Ludiker (fiddle, mandolin, vocals), Josh Hoag (bass), Connor Forsyth (piano and vocals), and Jay Reynolds (sax and clarinet), Asleep at the Wheel's performance agility takes center stage on the record.
New Routes travels down myriad musical byways from the sly "viper" jazz groove of opener, "Jack, I'm Mellow" to the languid original ballad, "Call It A Day Tonight;" the Cajun romp of "Pass the Bottle Around" to the Americana-tinged acoustic cover of Guy Clark's "Dublin Blues;" and the pedal-to-the-metal covers of Paolo Nutini's "Pencil Full of Lead" and Moon Mullican's "Seven Nights To Rock." For the first time since the 80's, Benson co-wrote with a member of the Wheel for the record. "Call It A Day Tonight" is co-penned with fiddler and recent band addition, Katie Shore.