HOMETOWN ENTERTAINMENT: Steel Wheels band speaks with WDBJ7 ahead of show at The Harvester

“Everyone A Song” project allowed band to create songs fans commissioned during pandemic
Published: Nov. 4, 2021 at 5:44 AM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - Everyone has a story.

And now everyone might have a song, too.

When the Virginia band The Steel Wheels wasn’t able to play live during the pandemic, they came up with a new way to connect with their fans.

“What we’ve been doing during the pandemic is through crowd-sourcing songs, we’ve had our fans commission songs and kind of give us the story or give us the idea for a song,” says Derek Kratzer, bassist and vocalist for The Steel Wheels.

Each song was commissioned for a specific relationship or life moment.

After writing dozens of songs for folks, they realized they had enough for an album.

“Everyone A Song” Volume 1 came out last fall.

“This idea of writing songs for people’s stories seemed like a way to meet the moment when a lot of people’s stories were being re-written by the pandemic and their experiences that they had planned for were all being re-written,” says Trent Wagler, lead singer of The Steel Wheels.

The Steel Wheels’ own story started back in 2005. Wagler is a founding member..

“I opened as a solo performer that these two guys, Jay and Derek were in at the time. And they both jumped on stage with me and played as a trio,” says Wagler.

With some changing members, and time off the road during the pandemic, The Steel Wheels have been rolling and touring for the past 11 years.

Now they’re bringing their unique Americana sound to The Harvester.

“Everything from just acoustic to kind of a more rock ‘n’ roll sound to some really tight, almost like our style of gospel singing. But a lot of our songs fall under that Americana umbrella, says vocalist and guitarist Jay Lapp.

Along with their music, The Steel Wheels count their friendships as crucial part of their success.

No matter how many miles separate them.

“We’re not all, we don’t all live on the same street in some place. We’re scattered around the country. So, this was a really great way to stay creative, and still creating music together,” says Wagler.

Lapp says, “We are very close. It’s really nice to be able to travel down the road as a band of brothers.”

“We just like to have fun playing music together. If we’re on stage, we just try to bring it together as a group, listen to each other and create music that is meaningful,” says Kratzer.

Here’s a link to tickets for Thursday night’s show at The Harvester. It begins at 8:00 pm.

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