The Steel Wheels – Sold Out!!Jan 20, 2016 | 4 comments
The Steel Wheels have enthralled audiences across the country with their heady brew of original soulful mountain music. Based in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, this dynamic band marries old-time musical traditions with their own innovative sound. Trent Wagler’s weathered tenor is joined by bell-clear four-part harmonies inspired by a shared Mennonite heritage. Add to this Eric Brubaker’s lively and evocative fiddle, Brian Dickel’s grounded yet buoyant upright bass, and Jay Lapp’s signature mandolin style, and it’s no surprise that The Steel Wheels have burst onto the Americana scene, becoming festival favorites and selling out venues across the country.
No More Rain, The Steel Wheels’ third album out April 16th, begins with the lyric, “I want to walk away and start over again.” The line, from Tom Waits’ “Walk Away,” fits the theme of the album, a retrospective from the acclaimed acoustic band. According to Trent Wagler, the band’s principal songwriter and vocalist, “These are songs we wrote and played together when we first met, some even pre-date the band’s debut. It’s been fun to hand pick and revisit some of the fan favorites and bring them back with a new energy and sound.”
The Steel Wheels have captured fans with their raw energy and chemistry, having played both Merlefest and Mountain Stage – and this year; they will be performing at the heralded Stagecoach Festival. As the band thrives, so do their partnerships with local businesses, artisans, and charitable organizations. The values portrayed in their music – devotion to roots, community, and family – are a way of life for The Steel Wheels, and this is reflected in everything from production process and booking agency to merchandise and touring.
For the past three years, they have performed an annual SpokeSongs bicycle music tour, during which band members tow their instruments, equipment, and merchandise from one gig to another via bicycle and blog about their adventures.
The band’s merchandise represents a host of grassroots connections to people and businesses. Lucas Roasting Company, located just outside of Harrisonburg, created “Halfway to Heaven” coffee in honor of the band located on Afton. Blue Mountain Brewery, located on Afton Mountain in Virginia, hosted the band when they were just getting started and now distributes the “Steel Wheels ESB” across the east coast. The band’s T-shirts are made in downtown Harrisonburg, and a potter who is a childhood friend of Jay’s makes their mugs. Each business is local for the band, and each product is intimately woven into their narrative.
visit their website: www.thesteelwheels.com