The Steel Wheels New Single
“Hero” Out Now
*Watch Extraordinary Official Video here: Hero *
Upcoming Album Sideways Releases February 9
via Big Ring Records
The Steel Wheels have shared new single “Hero” from forthcoming album Sideways, out February 9 2024.
Speaking about the song, The Steel Wheels’ Trent Wagler said: “I know I’m supposed to make some high-minded artistic statement here, but I’m a dad, and this was personal. My daughter, Maia Wagler, choreographed and danced in the “Hero” music video with some other extremely talented dancers from Virginia Commonwealth University’s dance department. Maia is part of a whole generation of teens who had a hell of a time becoming young adults in the last few years during a pandemic, mounting climate crisis, and social and political reckonings of all kinds. This song was an acknowledgment of my own lack of ability to know how to be the dad I need to be, sliding into tropes of “heroic rescue” instead of what she often needed, which was space and openness to move through life in her way. The song, and certainly the video, plays with old images of masculinity, and Maia, through her choreography, pulls the good, discards the bad, literally teaching us a new dance. I am proud of the song. I’m even prouder to be her dad. The video was the best kind of creation, where the result is a time capsule of an experience I will hold close to my heart. This little song I wrote created the full-circle opportunity for my daughter to teach me on her terms, in her artistic language.”
In its video premiere, Magnet in the US said: “‘Hero,’ in particular, hinges on an easy, addictive groove that hints at Lowell George-era Little Feat.”
Nearly 20 years after debuting as an all-acoustic string band, the group has crafted an expansive album that mixes their knack for crafting big pop hooks with traditional Appalachian instrumentation. Produced by Sam Kassirer (Lake Street Dive, Langhorne Slim, Josh Ritter), Sideways takes influence from psychedelic rock, pop, jam and more to expand upon their distinct, well-established sound. From the LP, the band has shared singles “Easy On Your Way”, “Baby Gone,” and “Yes I Know” which have attracted attention from No Depression, Folk Alley, The Americana Music Association and more.
Over twelve tracks, the LP covers heavy topics such as grief, loss, fatherhood and mental health. Many of the songs were penned in response to direct events in the band members’ lives. Namely, the sudden passing of fiddle player and vocalist Eric Brubaker’s young daughter to a rare disease. And during the pandemic, when Wagler’s child faced a mental health crisis that left Wagler and his family feeling lost and frustrated inside our country’s mental health care system.
The band first collaborated with Kassirer on 2017’s critically-acclaimed Wild As We Came Here, which features the now ubiquitous alt-folk battle cry “Scrape Me Off the Ceiling.” Through it all, The Steel Wheels have been about creating a community and sharing the experience of humanity with one another. Nowhere is this more evident than at the Red Wing Roots Music Festival, founded by the band in 2013. Taking place in the Shenandoah Valley, the festival has featured performances by Lucinda Williams, Billy Strings, Steve Earle & The Dukes, The Mavericks, Old Crow Medicine Show, Robert Earl Keen, Dawes, Trampled By Turtles and more. Outside of their own festival, the band is known for its road-dog mentality, spending many nights of the year on the road.
The band has announced a special US Winter Roots Concert on January 20, an offshoot of their highly successful and long-running Red Wing Roots Music Festival, featuring an album release show with Lindsay Lou at Wilson Hall in Harrisonburg, VA. See more information HERE. The group will appear on NPR’s Mountain Stage, taping live on February 20, and will perform at the Folk Alliance International Conference in Kansas City, MO on February 22 and 23. Find a full list of tour dates below or visit http://thesteelwheels.com/tour.
The Steel Wheels is Trent Wagler (vocals/guitar/banjo), Jay Lapp (guitar/mandolin/vocals), Eric Brubaker (fiddle/vocals), Kevin Garcia (drums/percussion/mallet keyboards), Jeremy Darrow (bass).
1. Wait On You
2. Baby Gone
7. Good Thing Now
8. Morning Before Long
9. Yes I Know
10. Past The Breaks
11. Easy On Your Way
12. Just Like The Wind
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