Fields on Fire by Wheels
If you haven’t had a chance to catch Wheels yet, then you’re missing out on something special. It’s something that doesn’t come around very often, at least in a city this size – talented youngsters building a local following, all on the merits of their music. Wheels’ live shows are where they really shine and they can pack out Canal Street Tavern with a crowd enthusiasm usually reserved for nationally touring acts. Wheels are the real deal and the Yellow Springs folkies aren’t quitting anytime soon. Since debuting their album, Fields on Fire, just a few months ago, the band is already at work on songs for a sophomore effort, rumored to be an all-analog recording to capture the warmth and texture of their live performances. Standout tracks from Fields on Fire include “Sticks and Stones,” a loose, harmonic ballad reminiscent of the best of The Band, also “High Horse,” a jangly, dynamic metaphor in the vein of Dylan’s “Like a Rolling Stone.” Aiming squarely at country, the boys shine with “I’m Going Back,” a nostalgic foot-stomper about sincere Ohio homesickness. It’s refreshing to hear Ohio mentioned in song without a hint of irony, and to hear the possibility in the voices of these hometown heroes as they continue to harmonize and grow together as musicians.
– Benjamin Dale