Tour Diary #3: Asleep At The Wheel Ride On With Dylan

Wheel drummer David Sanger continues his reports from behind the scenes as the country-swing band and Bob Dylan tour the West.

[Editor's Note: Folk-rock icon Bob Dylan has been sweeping through the U.S. this month with country-swing stars Asleep at the Wheel. Joining Dylan are blues guitarist Charlie Sexton; Larry Campbell on mandolin and acoustic, electric, steel and pedal-steel guitar; Tony Garnier on acoustic, electric and standup bass; and drummer David Kemper. Throughout the tour, Asleep at the Wheel drummer David Sanger will be sending sonicnet some of his diary. Here's the third installment.]

Friday, March 18, Reno, Nev.

We have this show off, but I found out later that Bob Dylan's people asked if we wanted to do the show. I'm not sure what happened, but we ended up not doing it. We did stay at the Hilton where the gig was and Ray (Benson) and Jason (Roberts) went down to the early set. They ended up sitting in with the band. I didn't see it, but I know Jason said it was great fun. Obviously that kind of opportunity doesn't happen a lot.

Sunday, March 19, Pocatello, Idaho:

The venue at Pocatello is kind of bizarre. It is Idaho State's indoor facility that looks like it is big enough to enclose the whole town. Our sax player, Michael Francis, said that 30 years ago he marched in a half-time show in the building. I guess the goal posts should have tipped me off as to what they can do in there.

The stage was pushed up to the bleachers so we were only using one side of the room, but still there were plenty of folks in the stands. This was the first show where it felt to me that there were a lot of people who knew who we were, and we didn't have to work at all to gain their approval. It is starting to get cold up here. No listening to Bob today. Got to move on.

Monday, March 20, Boise, Idaho:

A sizable arena and absolutely packed by the time we were done. An amazing reception for our set. We waited for a bit after we were done but had to get out of Dodge to get to the next town.

Tuesday, March 21, Pullman, Wash.:

Washington State's baseball team plays right across from their performing arts center and Jason, Michael and I took advantage of that fact while we were waiting for sound check. Three home runs in four innings and a goofy mascot to boot. This gig was probably the least full for our set so far, but the crowd was definitely into it by the end. We had to take off immediately from the show to get to Missoula, Mont.

Wednesday, March 22, Missoula, Mont.:

A beautiful day in Missoula. The first thing I noticed as I left my hotel room was some handiwork from some local Bob fans.

Missoula sits in a valley, and on two of the closest hills surrounding the town are letters: an "M" on one and an "L" on the other. Well some enthusiastic fans added some letters to the "L" and now it reads "dyLan." A nice welcome for the headliner. I also saw a sign outside a local diner reading "Bob Dylan eats free."

The show was held in the University of Montana arena and was again filled to capacity. Our own special treat was having Huey Lewis, who lives around these parts, up to sing "Hubbin' It" with us. He sang the song on our Tribute to Bob Wills CD. I saw a lot of the Dylan show, which was great and included an especially rockin' "Maggie's Farm" (RealAudio excerpt of studio version). The crowd was still deafening as the house lights came up.

(Asleep at the Wheel drummer David Sanger also runs Lazy S.O.B. Recordings, Texas Round-up Records and a mail-order catalog for independent Texas music called Texas Music Round-up.)