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OGMS club to host the Steel Wheels

November 8, 2012
From staff reports , The Herald-Star

NEW CUMBERLAND - The Oak Glen Middle School Culture Club will host the Steel Wheels Tuesday at the middle school.

Opening acts Luis Neer and Tangled Wallflowers will perform at 7 p.m., and The Steel Wheels will take the stage at 7:30 p.m.

The Steel Wheels, an acoustic Americana band, is touring in support of their new album, "Lay Down Lay Low," which uses a traditional story-telling style to chronicle "the good struggle." It follows up on "Red Wing," which spent 13 weeks in the Top 40 Americana radio charts, was the second-highest ranked independently released album of 2010 and was named one of the Americana Music Association's Top 100 Albums of the Year. "Red Wing" also cracked the EuroAmericana Top 10 and Folk charts and was nominated for five Independent Music Awards, winning Best Country Song.

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PERFORMING — The Steel Wheels acoustic Americana band will perform Tuesday at Oak Glen Middle School as the guests of the school’s Culture Club. Advance tickets are $5 for students and $8 for adults. At the door, tickets are $10. -- Contributed

Singer-songwriter and guitarist Trent Wagler was born to a Mennonite family in the small town of Bean Blossom, Ind. At 4 years old, he was singing gospel music on stage with the Wagler Family Quartet. After moving to the Shenandoah Valley, Wagler began playing solo and developing his own mix of traditional and original roots music pulling from the Shenandoah Valley's American musical heritage and his own musical background.

In 2004, Wagler opened for Jay Lapp's The Goldmine Pickers. Lapp went onstage, and the two played way past their 30-minute slot. Since that time Wagler has worked with Lapp on five albums.

Growing up in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia and in Northwest Indiana, mandolinist and guitarist Lapp was surrounded by the four-part harmony of Mennonite hymns, as well as music from his parents' eclectic record collection: the Beach Boys to Doc Watson, chamber music to Creedence Clearwater Revival, the Mamas and Papas to the "Blues Brothers" movie soundtrack. After a brief stint in the horn section of his junior high band, Lapp picked up his first stringed instrument when he traded a BB gun for a friend's old electric guitar. His mother taught him basic chords.

After high school, he worked at a music store, where he learned from store owner, friend and mentor Tim Robie about the retail music business, as well as instrument repair and sound system design. In 2000, Lapp began studying guitar and mandolin with teachers at Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago.

In 2001, Lapp started building a recording studio as a grassroots approach to music recording and producing. He has recorded albums and EPs for numerous musicians and groups, encompassing a broad range of styles, and composed and recorded original music for several independent films and theater productions. One of the songs he recorded and performed with a band he co-founded, Goldmine Pickers, was featured in a television and radio commercial for Nissan-Europe in 2006. Goldmine Pickers released two albums, an eponymous album in 2004, and 2007's "Lonesome Gone." Lapp wrote several songs on each recording.

A full-time musician, Lapp performs with the Steel Wheels, for which he has produced and co-produced three albums. He joins numerous solo artists and bands for special projects and events and has taught mandolin and guitar lessons.

Bass player Brian Dickel originally hails from the small town of Frytown, Iowa, located just south of Iowa City.At an early age, Dickel performed vocally with his family and played the trumpet for 13 years in bands, ensembles and orchestras, as well as singing in various choral groups. He attended college in Harrisonburg, Va., where he discovered a love of the guitar and bass. It was during these college years that Dickel and Wagler first teamed up together in a rock band. Dickel switched over to upright bass.

After a few stints with various bands, including with Eric Brubaker, Dickel reunited with Wagler in forming the Steel Wheels. Prior to a full time music career, Dickel built high-end acoustic guitars for Huss and Dalton Guitar Co. for 10 years. He currently plays a 1954 King Moretone from Fretwell Bass and Acoustic Instruments. Dickel is endorsed by Fretwell and uses Innovation strings.

Fiddler Eric Brubaker was born in Oregon, but spent most of his formative years in Harrisonburg. Brubaker's interest in music began at the age of 3, when he started asking his parents for violin lessons. He took lessons at Eastern Mennonite University's preparatory music program, beginning at age 5 and continuing through high school. It was in high school that Brubaker began to get interested bluegrass and old time fiddle music. He started playing fiddle tunes with friends and seeking out traditional music at the the area's various festivals and jams. Brubaker has been in numerous bands, including Reuben's Potted Ferns, Rural Sprawl and the Leftover Biscuit Boys. He is also an accomplished bass vocalist, singing in many local choirs, including the EMU Chamber Singers and the male a capella group Full Table.

Brubaker met Wagler and Dickel while at EMU, and, after college, he joined Dickel at Huss and Dalton Guitar Co.

Advance tickets are $5 for students and $8 for adults. At the door, tickets are $10. For information, call (304) 374-7474.

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