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The Steel Wheels Play City Winery

The Steel Wheels create a lively atmosphere with original music and charisma.
The Steel Wheels create a lively atmosphere with original music and charisma.
The Steel Wheels website, RubySky Photography

Trent Wagler, Eric Brubaker, Brian Dickel and Jay Lapp make up the phenomenal Americana/bluegrass ensemble, The Steel Wheels. You've no doubt heard about their performances at dozens of Canadian and US events such as the Kerrville Folk Fest, Stagecoach and Gettysburg Bluegrass Festival but these Blue Ridge Mountain musicians also played a huge part in establishing the 2013 RedWing Roots Music Festival (www.redwingroots.com). On the charitable front, they ride their bikes annually in an effort to raise much-needed funds when not actively engaged in touring and recording.

And their recording history is another success story. Early 2010 recording "Red Wing" spent 13 weeks in American Music Association's Top 40 Chart, reaching number 15. 2012's "Lay Down, Lay Low" was awarded Americana Album of the Year by Independent Music Awards. NPR Music referred to self-penned 'Rain in the Valley' as a "heavy hymn..."; that original boasts sweltering, 4-part, a cappella harmonies that consistently bring audiences to their feet.

But their instrumental expertise also bears mentions. The Steel Wheels feature Brubaker's stormy fiddle, Dickel's passionate upright bass and multi-instrumentalist Lapp's exciting solos on mandolin and guitar. No wonder main vocalist Trent Wagler, who can bounce from bluegrass to gospel to jazz on a dime, remains so focused and expressive on stage. They've got his back!

WHO: The Steel Wheels

WHERE: City Winery, 1200 West Randolph, Chicago, Illinois

WHEN: Saturday, May 3, 2014, 8:00 PM