The Steel Wheels, ‘Worn Wool, Soft Leather’ Music Video [Exclusive Premiere]
Americana band the Steel Wheels are premiering their new music video for "Worn Wool, Soft Leather" exclusively on The Boot.
"Worn Wool, Soft Leather" comes off of the band's upcoming fourth album, Leave Some Things Behind, which they are releasing via their own label, Big Ring. The up-tempo song is backed by a fun video of a family football game, where a couple of adorable pint-sized players make some intensely competitive moves out on the field.
The Virginia-based unit had a lot of material to work with for the album, but finding a way to put it all together was challenging at first.
“We had more songs for this record than ever before,” lead singer, guitarist and banjo player Trent Wagler says, “and that caused us to ask, ‘How does all this stuff fit together, and what’s it about?’ A theme emerged, which I’d been somewhat conscious of as I was writing — the Exodus theme. I don’t want to overstate the biblical aspect, but those biblical metaphors are big metaphors in our lives regardless of the institutions they come from. I was fascinated by the notion of going away from home to look for something. But the further we go toward something, the further we’re inevitably going away from something else, meaning those ideals come at a cost, sometimes small and mundane, sometimes huge."
The band began to form in 2004, when Wagler met upright bass player Brian Dickel and fiddler Eric Brubaker while they were in school at Eastern Mennonite University; Wagler and Dickel began playing acoustic shows as a duo and were soon joined by Brubaker. When Wagler came across mandolin player Jay Lapp, their quartet was complete. After releasing projects together under different names and as a backing band for Wagler, the group released their first album as the Steel Wheels, Red Wing, in 2010.
The new album was co-produced and engineered by Ben Surratt, and it takes inspiration for the "Exodus" narrative from their own experiences on the road and returning home.
“That narrative of following your dreams and stepping against your own comfort zone was replayed for me in the lives of my parents and grandparents, and I left home, too,” Wagler says. “It’s hardly a unique story; we live in a transient culture, and we move for many different reasons. That’s the personal side, but I think this music also connected to the other guys in the band in that all four of us are dads now. We travel and tour; that is our livelihood, and when we’re gone, we’re really gone. But when we come off the road, we’re really home. So we live with that push and pull.”
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