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The Steel Wheels and Hoot & Holler – Blue Ridge Music Center
July 20, 2019 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
The Steel Wheels
“What sets The Steel Wheels from the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia apart from many bands is the combination of their stellar instrumentals, accentuated by the one of a kind lead vocal of [Trent] Wagler, and keenly supported by strong harmonies. Eric Brubaker on fiddle, Jay Lapp on mandolin, and Brian Dickel on bass weave in and out intricately throughout this record, painting vivid imagery which flows effortlessly, just teasing the lyrics enough to allow them to resonate within you.” – Country Standard Time
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(2017).
“I think we’ve always been able to write new songs with different landscapes. However it was really enjoyable for us, creatively and artistically, to depart from the straight-up acoustic sound that we’ve been known for,” says Trent Wagler, who plays guitar and banjo in the band and writes most of the material. “I’m excited to see what happens. There are fans out there who are ready for this and who have been waiting for us to do this.”
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.
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 and perseverance run throughout the collection.
Hoot and Holler
Hoot and Holler are the sum of two parts: guitarist Mark Kilianski and fiddler Amy Alvey. Each are songwriters dedicated to honing their craft, both equally influenced by wordsmiths like Gillian Welch and Townes Van Zandt as they are to authentic mountain musicians like Roscoe Holcomb and Ola Belle Reed. After spending the better part of 2016 living in a camper van while playing shows across the country, they now call Asheville, North Carolina their home.
Instrument swapping is common during a performance. Sometimes they don two guitars, other times switching to fiddle and banjo, all the while seamlessly blending their vocals as they sing songs infused with the vitality of the landscapes which they have traveled. In 2018 Hoot & Holler won third place in the traditional band category at the Appalachian string band festival, “Clifftop”, and first place at South Carolina’s State Fiddler’s Championship. Amy and Mark strive to honor the ancient sounds of those who came before while bringing their own voice to the stage.
$20 Adult General Admission
$10 Children 12 and Under