The Steel Wheels – Red Wing
So for the last few weeks an album has resided on the mp3 player and occasionally a song comes up and I say hey that’s nice! Well, Wednesday I decided to give the CD a good listen, so I put it on during my Wednesday run set off. The album is Red Wing by The Steel Wheels. I first noticed The Steel Wheels when the album appeared on both the American Music and the Folk DJ Charts and I had this preconceived idea of what the band would sound like and I guess it was influenced by other bands like The Steel Drivers and Cornmeal and I expected blazing fiddles and upbeat songs. What I got was a nice collection of ballads with some nice vocals and well arranged music where the mandolin, fiddle and bass don’t over power but accentuate the vocals! The Steel Wheels are based in Virginia but members come from Indiana, Iowa, and Oregon. Their biography at their website says this about their music:
The Steel Wheels are truly an Americana band, rooted in musical styles that explore the territories between blues and bluegrass, old-time sing-alongs and foot-stompin’ fiddle tunes. They are subtle innovators who respect the past but whistle their own tunes, layering in rich textures and decidedly modern energy to forge a new sound.
They fit best among musicians like Langhorne Slim, Gillian Welch, or Adrienne Young and Little Sadie (with whom they’ve shared the stage) – deft musicians making a name for themselves by creating their own particular permutation of traditional forms. Yet the Steel Wheels share much with new Americana favorites like the Avett Brothers or Old Crow Medicine Show, with charisma that causes toes to tap and heads to nod, audiences hanging on their every word. Like those bands, The Steel Wheels have broad appeal. And they count among their fans former Statler Brother Jimmy Fortune and indie folk darlings Over the Rhine.
The band is composed of:
Trent Wagler – lead vocals and guitar
Jay Lapp – mandolin
Brian Dickel – upright bass
Eric Brubaker – fiddle
As I said the music has grown on me and the more listen the more I like the whole album. Tracks that I have particularly enjoyed include the title track “Red Wing”, “Picture”, “Valley” and “Hymn for Unsung” and as you know I seldom meet an instrumental I don’t like so “”At Long Last”, “Dragging Heels” and “2nd of May” are favorites. Kudos to all the musicians but again it’s the fiddle of Eric Brubaker that stands out with Lapp’s mandolin picking a close second. That’s not to say the bass and guitar aren’t good Trent and Brian!
Trent Wagler & Jay Lapp released a new recording, Uncloudy Day, on May 5th to correspond with their SpokeSongs Tour through Michigan which lasted from May 5 – 15 they travel approximately 400 miles on bikes, hauling our instruments and played 9 shows in 10 days. This is their second tour on bikes the first was a 300 mile tour through the hills of Virginia!
Checking their tour schedule I see they are booked to be at the Green Line Cafe in Philly on August 19 – four days before my 35th wedding anniversary sounds like the place to go for our anniversary to me! Here’s a video of “Red Wing” with Robin and Linda Williams!
Oh by the way the run was as good as the music as the band kept me at a steady pace and I finished my four mile run with the fastest time of the year!! Thanks guys you may be the playlist for many future runs!!
Originally posted at: Me, Myself, Music and Mysteries