The Steel Wheels Realize the World Doesn’t “Wait On You” on New Single Out Today

Article Contributed by Missing Piece Group | Published on Friday, November 10, 2023

In the opening moments of The Steel Wheels’ new album, frontman/songwriter Trent Wagler sings, “This year hit like a hurricane. The winds they knocked me over.” From the jump, you understand that this record represents a series of poignant realizations for the long-running Virginia-based folk band. Those lines appear on opening track “Wait On You,” which comes out today ahead of the February 9 release of Sideways via the band’s own Big Ring Records. An anthemic track with arena-ready drums and soft banjo, “Wait On You” was featured at Relix who said, “As the sails of ‘Wait On You’ unfurl they unite and harmonize over the lyrics ‘They’re not going to wait on you’ before Wagler takes the lead with sweeping twangy words of wisdom moving the ship forward.”
The band also announced a special Winter Roots Concert on January 20, an offshoot of their highly-successful and long-running Red Wing Roots Music Festival, featuring an album release show with Lindsay Lou at Wilson Hall in Harrisonburg, VA. See more information HERE. Also next year the group will appear on NPR’s Mountain Stage, taping live on January 14, and will perform at the Folk Alliance International Conference in Kansas City, MO on February 22 and 23. Find a full list of tour dates below or visit

Listen to “Wait On You”

Watch the official “Wait On You” lyric video via YouTube

Pre-order/pre-save Sideways

“This song is a very clear story from the end of my first year of college: I was supposed to take a train from VA back to KS with two friends, but we missed the train,” shares Wagler. “Somehow it all felt like in that time, we believed we were the young experts. We had just read Noam Chomsky, we saw the Matrix, and the world NEEDED to listen to us, with all our big deep thoughts, and yet, we were being met with the reality check that trains don’t wait for scatter-brained philosophy students simply because they have too many ideas in their head to bother securing the details required to make the train.”

Nearly 20 years after debuting as an all-acoustic string band, the group has crafted an expansive album that mixes their knack for crafting big pop hooks with traditional Appalachian instrumentation. Produced by Sam Kassirer (Lake Street Dive, Langhorne Slim, Josh Ritter), Sideways takes influence from psychedelic rock, pop, jam and more to expand upon their distinct, well-established sound. From the LP, the band has shared singles “Easy On Your Way” and “Baby Gone,” which have attracted attention from No Depression, Folk Alley, The Americana Music Association and more.

Over twelve tracks, the LP covers heavy topics such as grief, loss, fatherhood and mental health with many of the songs being penned in response to direct events in the band members’ lives. Namely, the sudden passing of fiddle player and vocalist Eric Brubaker’s young daughter to a rare disease. And during the pandemic, when Wagler’s child faced a mental health crisis that left Wagler and his family feeling lost and frustrated inside our country’s mental health care system.

The band first collaborated with Kassirer on 2017’s critically-acclaimed Wild As We Came Here, which features the now ubiquitous alt-folk battlecry “Scrape Me Off the Ceiling.” Through it all, The Steel Wheels have been about creating a community and sharing the experience of humanity with one another. Nowhere is this more evident than at the Red Wing Roots Music Festival, founded by the band in 2013. Taking place in the Shenandoah Valley, the festival has featured performances by Lucinda Williams, Billy Strings, Steve Earle & The Dukes, The Mavericks, Old Crow Medicine Show, Robert Earl Keen, Dawes, Trampled By Turtles and more. Outside of their own festival, the band is known for their road-dog mentality, spending many nights of the year on the road.

The Steel Wheels is Trent Wagler (vocals/guitar/banjo), Jay Lapp (guitar/mandolin/vocals), Eric Brubaker (fiddle/vocals), Kevin Garcia (drums/percussion/mallet keyboards), Jeremy Darrow (bass).

The Steel Wheels 2023 + 2024 Tour Dates
November 10 – Prosser, WA @ Brewminatti
November 13 – Phoenix, AZ @ Musical Instrument Museum
November 14 – Tucson, AZ @ Hotel Congress
November 15 – Santa Fe, NM @ Tumbleroot Brewery
January 12 – Thomas, WV @ Purple Fiddle Cafe
January 13 – Thomas, WV @ Purple Fiddle Cafe
January 14 – Morgantown, WV @ Mountain Stage
January 15 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Club Cafe
January 16 – Cleveland, OH @ Music Box Supper Club
January 17 – Columbus, OH @ Woodlands Tavern
January 18 – Durham, NC @ Fletcher Hall Auditorium *
January 19 – Charlotte, NC @ Neighborhood Theatre
January 20 – Harrisonburg, VA @ Wilson Hall
February 1 – Atlanta, GA @ City Winery
February 2 – Elkin, NC @ Reeves Theater
February 21 – Wichita, KS @ The Wave
February 22-23 – Kansas City, MO @ Folk Alliance International
February 24 – Cedar Rapids, IA @ CSPS Hall
February 25 – Minneapolis, MN @ The Parkway Theater
February 27 – Milwaukee, WI @ Shank Hall
February 28 – Berwyn, IL @ FitzGerald’s
February 29 – Ann Arbor, MI @ The Ark
March 1 – Cincinnati, OH @ The Ludlow Garage
March 2 – Asheville, NC @ The Salvage Station *
March 3 – Columbia, SC @ The Senate *

* - with Donna The Buffalo

Sideways Tracklist
1. Wait On You
2. Baby Gone
3. Sideways
4. Hero
5. Enemy
6. Dissidents
7. Good Thing Now
8. Morning Before Long
9. Yes I Know
10. Past The Breaks
11. Easy On Your Way
12. Just Like The Wind