Since 2005, members of the Steel Wheels have been innovating Americana. The band’s core is drenched in Appalachian charm, and it expands into soulful roots rock on their latest, “Time Is All I Need”. It’s a track from their 12th and latest album, Everyone a Song, Vol. 2 (Big Ring), now available for pre-order.
“Time Is All I Need” was inspired by a true story. Commissioned by a fan during the pandemic, the Steel Wheels recorded it in isolation, separated from each other in various parts of Virginia, Ann Arbor, and Brooklyn. It’s got a groove to it, too; sauntering vocals mesh with a good-humored swagger, and the whole band turns in an in-pocket performance that’s easy to sway to. Its persistent rhythm and vibrant harmonies make for an infectious listen, and its music video shows how much fun the band had with playing it.
The Steel Wheels’ banjoist and guitarist, Trent Wagler, tells PopMatters, “This one is kind of funny to me. It’s the anti-love-at-first-sight love song. Crystal wrote us wanting to pay tribute to the love of her life for their anniversary, but when she talked about it, she didn’t sugarcoat the beginning: ‘I really didn’t care for him when I first met him, but he kind of grew on me.’ The notion that inspired the song was that it took a lot of time, but once the time was right, they took the leap, blended their families together, and made something beautiful. Notable in this recording is Jay’s Motown harmony vocals and the funk band stylings led by a simple banjo, eventually filled out by full electric guitar and drums.”