(Beaver Dam) Eddie Rivers will be performing once again with Asleep At The Wheel at a show in Wisconsin this spring. The Beaver Dam-native, known locally as Mark Malak, was the longest serving steel guitar player in the storied history of the Grammy Award-winning band.
After years of turning down touring opportunities, Rivers accepted an offer from front man Ray Benson to join the Austin, Texas-based, western swing band in 2004. He retired in 2019 but performed with Asleep At The Wheel at a sold out show in Beaver Dam last spring. That hometown show, coupled with a handful west coast dates, has kept Rivers with one foot in the music world.
“They called me last year for the 50th Anniversary Tour,” he says, “and that, I have to admit, made me miss it a little, it was a real treat. But then, the bus ride from Sacramento to Arizona, I thought to myself ‘boy I sure don’t miss this’ and that reminded me why I retired.”
Malak will be coming out of retirement for at least a pair of shows at the Stoughton Opera House in April.
“I love that Stoughton Opera House it’s a beautiful room, we’ve had nothing but good luck there throughout the years,” he says.
Rivers, who is in the Western Swing Society Hall of Fame, has appeared on over 40 commercial music releases with Asleep At The Wheel. Eddie Rivers solo album “Plain Talkin’ Man” includes the song Texas Playboy Rag, which WBEV listeners might recognize as the last song you hear from Uncle Bill each day on the Barn Show. Asleep At The Wheel has a two-night stint at the Stoughton Opera House on April 13 and 14.