The first time I saw The Steel Wheels, I was at the Walnut Valley Music Festival (Winfield) looking to hear some fresh, modern gospel music, some newgrass, lyrics that would cut me to the core, and harmony to brings tears to my eyes. I was seeking the band that would be that year’s new favorite… the one everyone’s buzzing about. And let me tell you, at Winfield 41, and each year since, all the buzz has been about The Steel Wheels .
“(Lead singer Trent) Wagler has a powerful, earthy, ragged voice with soulful overtones that get right into the heart of his songs that are steeped in Appalachia…You can’t help but be moved…Passionate music like this cannot be ignored…it demands to be embraced.” — Maverick Magazine
My Favorite Steel Wheels Songs:
Lay Down, Lay Low – Affected me very personally and powerfully; gorgeous melody, rich, flowing fiddle, and solid, strong vocals. Written from the heart; The Steel Wheels make no apology when they bear their souls for all of us to see. And we thank them for it.
Red Wing – I cried the first time I heard this song without knowing why. The melody is timeless and familiar, the message about finding lost faith, connection with your heritage, growing up… it’s confusing! Yet the meaning of the complicated lyrics are obvious to your soul.
Kiss me Like A Stranger – For anyone who’s longed for a kiss. This is a warm song vibrating with feeling, the lasting romance of lovers who are friends first and foremost. Throaty, emotional, suspenseful and… well, kinda hot!
Spider Wings – A tough, modern song. Just a bit political, but artful and subtle. Listen over and over until you get the message. Don’t we all have enough without wanting more? Do we see who and what we are hurting with our greed? Insistent, blasted harmony, beatboxing… a sound all of its own.
Hymn for the Unsung – A gorgeous, poignant song about family, the beauty in aging, the significance of tradition. I sing this to my children to teach them that sharing with someone a song is the greatest gift you can give. Music is eternal and internal and is a tie that binds the generations.
Go Up to That Mountain – A jubilation about feeling at home with simple things, in a simple place. It’s a fast song that gets you dancing and showcases that The Steel Wheels are incredible instrumentalists. This song makes you want to feel the dirt in your toes and the wind in your face. I recommend listening to it outside.