FARMINGTON — One hundred and fifty fortunate Four Corners country fans will bring in the new year tonight dressed in cowboy boots.
Grammy-winning "kings of Texas swing" Asleep at the Wheel will perform two sets for dancers and diners at the Farmington Civic Center during a New Year's Eve celebration Tuesday night. The 43-year-old country group has undergone more than a dozen line-up changes since it formed in Paw Paw, W.Va., in 1970. Lured to Austin, Tex., by Willie Nelson in 1974, the band went on to record country classics of Texas swing, including their highest-charting Billboard single, "The Letter That Johnny Walker Read," a melancholy paean to the popular "red label" scotch whiskey.
Zebra's Sports Grill will provide a full bar, a "three-protein" dinner, and a dessert bar with flutes of champagne at midnight. A live disc jockey will open the show.
Lance Johnson, owner of Zebra's Sports Grill, got the band to roll into Farmington. Zebra's will be closed for the concert.
"I prefer country. Country music does real well here," Johnson said. "I remember my parents raving about seeing them play at the old Country Palace, in Flora Vista, way back when, 25 to 30 years ago."
Led by sole founding member Ray Benson, the country group sold out a show at Fort Lewis College, in Durango, Colo., in August.
"I'm really excited about it," Johnson said while preparing pan-seared ahi tuna, steaks and quinoa before meeting the band. "I used to like Motley Cure and Megadeath, but they don't exactly scream New Year's Eve. Country suits this area well."
For more information, call 505-599-9181.
James Fenton covers Aztec and Bloomfield for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4631 and firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him @fentondt on Twitter.