Video: The Steel Wheels “Hero”

In their new video, The Steel Wheels explore the theme of father-daughter relationships and the complex idea of being a hero in today’s world.  Accompanied by a genuinely striking visual, ‘Hero’ is a thoughtful, sensitive and brilliantly executed piece of songwriting.  It’s upbeat with a great sense of rhythm, underpinning the catchy, tuneful vocal delivery.  The video is wonderfully choreographed – every movement is considered and meaningful, matching perfectly with the song’s subject matter.

Vocalsist, guitarist and banjo player, Trent Wagler said of the song and video: “I know I’m supposed to make some high-minded artistic statement here, but I’m a dad, and this was personal. My daughter, Maia Wagler, choreographed and danced in the ‘Hero’ music video with some other extremely talented dancers from Virginia Commonwealth University’s dance department. Maia is part of a whole generation of teens who had a hell of a time becoming young adults in the last few years during a pandemic, mounting climate crisis, and social and political reckonings of all kinds. This song was an acknowledgment of my own lack of ability to know how to be the dad I need to be, sliding into tropes of ‘heroic rescue’ instead of what she often needed, which was space and openness to move through life in her way. The song, and certainly the video, plays with old images of masculinity, and Maia, through her choreography, pulls the good, discards the bad, literally teaching us a new dance. I am proud of the song. I’m even prouder to be her dad. The video was the best kind of creation, where the result is a time capsule of an experience I will hold close to my heart. This little song I wrote created the full-circle opportunity for my daughter to teach me on her terms, in her artistic language.”  That’s beautifully-put and gives a real insight into how and why the song and video were created.

‘Hero’ is the latest single from the forthcoming album ‘Sideways’, which is due on 9th February 2024.  There’s a bit of everything on the new record, including pop hooks and psychedelic rock; nearly twenty years after they began as an acoustic string band, The Steel Wheels have come a long way and the new material is increasingly adventurous.  Drawing influence directly from the band members’ personal experiences, such as the tragic passing of Eric Brubaker’s (fiddle, vocals) young daughter, the new songs cover a range of topics from mental health to loss and grief.

Known for their musicianship and live performances, the band have announced a US tour – details here.  In 2013, The Steel Wheels created the Red Wing Roots Music Festival, which takes place in the Shenandoah Valley.  Over the years, the band’s festival has hosted some incredible Americana acts, such as Lucinda Williams, Billy Strings, Steve Earle & The Dukes, The Mavericks and Old Crow Medicine Show.  Enjoy.

About Andrew Frolish 1414 Articles
From up north but now hiding in rural Suffolk. An insomniac music-lover. Love discovering new music to get lost in - country, singer-songwriters, Americana, rock...whatever. Currently enjoying Nils Lofgren, Ferris & Sylvester, Tommy Prine, Jarrod Dickenson, William Prince, Frank Turner, Our Man in the Field...
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