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Fresh Tracks: The Steel Wheels Go “Sideways”

The members of mainstay Virginia string band the Steel Wheels have expanded their sound on the new album, “Sideways,” which was released on February 9.

The album’s title track, which you can hear below, starts with some gentle clawhammer banjo, but as band leader Trent Wagler sings about changing feelings, the song builds with drums and colorful electric guitar textures.

“It’s beautiful and crushing to be alive sometimes,” shares Wagler in a statement. “We aren’t here to sing songs that only cut one way—but if they do, they’ll cut sideways.”

To make the new record, the Steel Wheel enlisted producer Sam Kassirer, who’s known for his work with Lake Street Dive, Langhorne Slim, and Josh Ritter.

The band is touring heavily in support of the album, stopping at the Salvage Station in Asheville on March 2 and the Broadberry in Richmond on March 27.

The group is the host band of the annual Red Wing Roots Music Festival in Mt. Solon, Va., which this year takes place from June 21-23. The fest’s impressive lineup also includes Kurt Vile, Bonny Light Horseman, Sierra Hull, Brent Cobb, and Pokey LaFarge.

For more info and tickets, click here.

Band photo by Mike Lee

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