Western swing is forever the music associated with dark dives and greasy diners on the outposts of dusty Texas towns from Pasadena to Archer City to Dallas. It's what makes you feel at home underneath the neon lights at Sons of Hermann Hall or amongst all the graffiti at Adair's on Monday night. It's inextricably linked with the smell of sawdust, stale beer and sweat. Bob Wills is the lord and master of all things Western Swing, a fiddling machine who knew a good pedal steel player when he saw one, and who credited his up-tempo compositions as the start of all things rock and roll. Inspiring the likes of Buck Owens, Merle Haggard, Willie Nelson, George Strait and even Carrie Underwood, Wills had 25 Top 40 hits in his career and remains a staple of the country cover band. And in true country music form, Wills led a hell of a life. A Ride With Bob: The Bob Wills Musical with Ray Benson details the trials and tribulations of a man who lived big, raised hell and died a legend. With music by Austin's Asleep at the Wheel, the performance at the Eisemann Center, 2351 Performance Drive in Richardson, will have you tapping your toes and planning your next trip to the honky-tonk. The show starts at 8 p.m., and tickets run from $30 to $60. Visit eisemanncenter.com.
Sat., Feb. 28, 8 p.m., 2009