The Steel Wheels Have a New Album
‘Wild As We Came Here’
Out on May 5 2017
Hailing from the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, The Steel Wheels are familiar with the traditions of folk music and how a string band is supposed to sound. In fact, they’ve been drawing on those steadfast traditions for more than a decade.
Yet their name also evokes a sense of forward motion, which is reflected in their forthcoming album – Wild As We Came Here, distributed via Redeye Worldwide and available on May 5 2017.
The band members are Trent Wagler (banjo, guitar), Eric Brubaker (fiddle), Brian Dickel (upright bass) and Jay Lapp (mandolin). They hunkered down for a week and a half with producer Sam Kassirer (Josh Ritter, Lake Street Dive, Elephant Revival) in his rural Maine farmhouse turned recording studio.
Wild As We Came Here look like being a significant leap for the band, which started its journey in 2004. Wagler, Dickel and Brubaker studied at Eastern Mennonite University in Harrisonburg, Virginia, about an hour from Charlottesville. (All four members of the band grew up in Mennonite families.) Wagler and Dickel were in a punk/alternative band until acoustic music lured them in.
Wagler soon started crafting songs and learned flat-picking. Dickel took classes on building guitars. They briefly played as a duo before Brubaker joined on fiddle. Lapp eventually came on board after getting to know the band from the local folk circuit.
In 2010, following a variety of EPs and LPs, the ensemble officially branded itself as The Steel Wheels, a tip of the hat to steam-powered trains, industrial progress, and the buggies of their Mennonite lineage.
The band’s style weaves through Americana and bluegrass music, folk and old-time music, and the acoustic poetry of the finest singer-songwriters.
The band will tour extensively in support of this release with stops at key festivals including Folk Alliance, Merlefest and Floydfest.
The album is currently available for pre-order via PledgeMusic.