Music

Ray Benson Announces Innovative 'Texas Dance Hall Tour' Experience

Lorie Liebig

Ray Benson just announced a very cool way to keep Texas' storied dance hall heritage alive. Dubbed the "Texas Dance Hall Tour," the four-day experience features four different experiences capped by four different evenings of Texas music at four different historical dance halls throughout the Texas hill country.

The experience takes place Nov. 1 -- 4 and features authentic music from some of the best Texas artists, like notable western swing giants Asleep at the Wheel, Johnny Bush, Ameripolitan legend Dale Watson and more.

HEB's Central Market brand is the lead sponsor on the experience, while Ray Benson & Asleep at the Wheel host and the Texas Dance Hall Preservation presents. Attendees will visit Gruene Hall, Albert Ice House, Quihi Dance Hall and Twin Sisters Dance Hall over the course of four days.

Texas dance halls birthed some of the most important artists today. At one point, more than 1,000 dance halls thrived across the state from the late 1800s on. Now, fewer than 400 remain. So for Benson, the goal of the event is simple: keep Texas music heritage alive.

"There wouldn't be Texas music without our Texas dance halls," Benson says in a press release. "They're like the Carnegie Hall of Western Swing and Texas Music! This is where Bob Wills, Willie Nelson and George Strait cut their teeth. We are losing these establishments and need to support the communities and these establishments."

An Educational Experience

The Texas Dance Hall Tour aims to entertain, educate and engage the public around Texas' cultural and musical heritage filled with historic dance halls. Daytime activities include two-step dance lessons, a private guided tour of San Antonio, a day in Fredericksburg, winery and distillery visits and more.

While there are a limited number of general admission tickets to the shows, the best way to experience the innovative four-day weekend is to snag one of the available ticket packages at www.texasdancehalltour.com. The best-of-the-best features hotel accommodations, VIP tickets and transportation to the shows and more.

Lifetime members of the Texas Dance Hall Preservation also get discounted rates.

Day By Day Texas Dance Hall Tour Highlights

Thursday, Nov. 1
- Dance Lessons at Gruene Hall in Gruene, Texas
- Asleep at the Wheel at Gruene Hall in Gruene, Texas
Friday, Nov. 2
- VIP private guided 300th year anniversary tour of San Antonio including visits to The Mission, Sunken Gardens, The Alamo, The Conception, The Briscoe Western Art Museum
- Johnny Bush and Heybale at Quihi Dance Hall in Hondo, Texas
Saturday, Nov. 3
- "Day in Fredericksburg" includes visits to The National Museum of Pacific War, shops and restaurants and the The Pioneer Museum
- Dale Watson and Brennen Leigh at Twin Sisters Dance Hall in Blanco, Texas
Sunday, Nov. 4  
- "Day in Hye, TX" will include a tour and tasting at William Chris Winery, Hye Cider and Garrison Brothers Distillery, a lunch at Hye Market and a meet and greet with Asleep at the Wheel
- Asleep at the Wheel with Sophia Johnson at Albert Ice House in Stonewall, Texas

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Ray Benson Announces Innovative 'Texas Dance Hall Tour' Experience