Press Releases

The Steel Wheels

January 31, 2017

The Steel Wheels to Release ‘Wild As We Came Here’ on May 5th

Announcing spring tour, a listening party at Folk Alliance, and album pre-order

Nashville, Tenn. — Jan. 31, 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 clearly reflected in their latest album, Wild As We Came Here, distributed via Redeye Worldwide and available for purchase on May 5th. The album is currently available for pre-order via PledgeMusic.

Produced by Sam Kassirer (Josh Ritter, Lake Street Dive, Elephant Revival) in his rural Maine farmhouse turned recording studio, all four band members –Trent Wagler (banjo, guitar), Eric Brubaker (fiddle), Brian Dickel (upright bass), and Jay Lapp (mandolin) – hunkered down for a week and a half to create what would become Wild As We Came Here.

Wild As We Came Here is 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.

Then as now, The Steel Wheels’ style weaves through Americana and bluegrass music, folk and old-time music, and the acoustic poetry of the finest singer-songwriters. By incorporating percussion and keyboards into the sessions for the first time, Wild As We Came Here adds new textures to their catalog, as themes of discovery, perseverance, and yes, a bit of wildness, run throughout the collection. The band will tour extensively in support of this release with stops at key festivals including Folk Alliance, Merlefest, Floydfest, and others. At Folk Alliance, the band will host a live listening party for Wild As We Came Here, performing the record in its entirety, at Tom’s Town Distillery on Friday, Feb. 17th at 4:30 p.m. — rsvp to


Tour dates:

Feb. 15 – Nashville, IN – The Pines

Feb. 16-17 – Kansas City, MO – Folk Alliance

Feb. 18 – Broken Bow, NE – Kinkaider Brewing CO

Feb. 19 – Des Moines, IA – Des Moines Social Club