Author: Sommer Olson
I think it’s safe to say all of us could use a break from our busy lives and take a chance to relax to some soothing acoustic guitar. And that’s just what you’ll be able to do this coming week at High Noon Saloon. Originating from the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, The Steel Wheels bring a rough, but harmonious live show carried by the vocals of lead vocalist Trent Wagler, fiddle of Eric Brubaker, upright bass of Brian Dickel, and mandolin of Jay Lapp. “The Steel Wheels” in reference to steam powered trains and industrial progress, the name serves as a tip of the hat towards the buggies of the members Mennonite lineage. Their sound is based mainly in Americana and bluegrass with hints of folk and what some describe as “old-time music.” Wagler, also the main author of the lyrics, weaves together exquisite tales that carry from high in the mountains to farmhouses surrounded by fields and open sky.
On this tour they’ll mostly be playing songs from their previous albums; Leave Some Things Behind 2015, No More Rain 2013, and Lay Down, Lay Low 2012, as well as a few others. But hopefully, we’ll be graced with the opportunity to hear a few lines from their new album Wild as We Came Here due out on May 5th. This entire album was put together over the course of a week and a half while the band was holed up in an 18th century farmhouse renovated as a recording studio and owned by their producer Sam Kassirer in rural Maine. This will be The Steel Wheel’s first album that incorporates keyboard and percussion into their recording sessions.
Driveway Thriftdwellers, a band that describes themselves as playing roll music (without the rock and occasional singing), will be joining The Steel Wheels Monday, Feb. 20th at High Noon Saloon. The show starts at 7:30pm and you’d be a fool to miss out on this folksy opportunity.
“It’s a gorgeous set-up,” Wagler says. “I didn’t grow up in a big city and I never made a record in a big city. It’s much more my style, and our style as a band, to completely hole up – probably more than we ever have – for 10 full days in Maine. I left the house for a couple of bike rides but I never went to a restaurant or a store the whole time I was there. We ate on site, we slept on site, and we recorded. It was a very immersive experience, top to bottom.”