The Steel Wheels announce hometown fest
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The Steel Wheels announce hometown fest

Friday, June 28, 2013 – The Steel Wheels, who released its third album, "No More Rain," in April are preparing to launch the inaugural Red Wing Roots Festival July 12-14 to be held near the band's hometown in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia.

The festival features The Del McCoury Band, Pokey LaFarge, Preservation Jazz Hall Band, Sarah Siskind, Tim O'Brien, Sam Bush, The Duhks, J.D. McPherson, Yarn and Scott Miller. More than 40 bands will play on 4 stages.

In August, The Steel Wheels will perform 8 shows in 9 days on the fourth annual "Spokesongs Tour." On these tours, the band commutes the entire distance between shows on bicycles pulling all their instruments, merchandise and other gear on attached carts, without extra personnel.

"We had some that were long on the last tour, at least 2 75-mile rides before a show (10 shows in 11 days), and 1 day we didn't play but biked 100 miles," says Trent Wagler, lead singer of the band.

"Distances will be shorter this trip, some of them 40 miles or less. There is something about being exhausted and determined that comes through in our shows on the bike tours," said Wagler. "There is a little bit more of a live nerve on stage, it strips away pretense and energy is different - the shows don't suffer, but are the better for it. Every year brings on new challenges; last year it was biking across mountains, and this year it will be the heat since it will be late August."

Formed by four friends in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, The Steel Wheels play original soulful mountain music. Wagler's tenor is joined by four-part harmonies inspired by a shared Mennonite heritage. Others in the band are Eric Brubaker on fiddle, Brian Dickel on upright bass and Jay Lapp on mandolin.


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CD reviews for The Steel Wheels

CD review - Over the Trees Ostensibly a bluegrass band, The Steel Wheels continue to explore some of the most inventive percussive sounds and surprising textures of any band loosely labeled in that genre. The quintet hail from the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, but journeyed north to Maine to again record with noted producer Sam Kassirer (Josh Ritter, Lake Street Dive, Elephant Revival). Kassirer also produced their 2017 "Wild As We Came Here." Steel Wheels is band leader Trent Wagler (lead vocals, ...
CD review - Wild As We Came Here The Steel Wheels are one of those bands that are keen to convince their listeners that theirs is not your granddaddy's bluegrass. Like Punch Brothers, Infamous Stringdusters and the Steep Canyon Rangers, the band they seem to parallel the most in terms of sound and style, The Steel Wheels are less fervent about the particulars and given to providing more attention to melody and nuance. So while there's a decided emphasis on a pluck and a strum, the songs surge with booth soothing tones ...
CD review - No More Rain It is sometimes an unwise decision to look back at music written years ago, and try to breathe new life into them. Perhaps there was a reason these songs never inspired a budding audience or career at that time. Well, that is just what The Steel Wheels have done with their new release "No More Rain," but after one listen many may wonder what took so long for these songs to find their way out once again. Of the 12 songs released here there is only 1 cover, which just so happens to open ...


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