Hannah Wicklund & The Steppin Stones / The High Divers

The Sibling Rivalry Tour Featuring

Hannah Wicklund & The Steppin Stones / The High Divers

Wed Mar 14

Doors: 7:00 pm / Show: 8:00 pm (event ends at 11:00 pm)

Gas Monkey Bar N' Grill

$12 - $100

This event is 16 and over

$12 Advance/ $15 Day of Show/ $20 Premier Balcony/ $100 Premier Tables

Tickets on-sale Friday, 1/19 @ 10AM!

Hannah Wicklund & The Steppin Stones
Hannah Wicklund & The Steppin Stones
Hannah Wicklund & The Steppin Stones are fronted by a 20-year-old powerhouse
guitarist, vocalist and songwriter. The South Carolina-born (and now East Nashvillebased)
artist who formed the band as an eight-year-old has developed a powerful and
sublime synthesis of skills and makes it clear that the future is hers to conquer.
On their new (and third) self-titled album, the band--who’ve played over 2,000 shows
including notable festival appearances--digs in deep, hits hard, and crushes it. Hannah
Wicklund & The Steppin Stones (available 1/26/18 on her Strawberry Moon imprint) is an
aural kaleidoscope of blazing guitars and searing vocals, all of which establish Wicklund
as a triple-threat player, singer and writer in the fashion of Susan Tedeschi and the
Pretenders’ Chrissie Hynde.
The album’s producer, Sadler Vaden, who’s also guitarist with Jason Isbell & The 400
Unit, says: “Once we started writing some songs, I saw that she had a real, raw talent. I
was inspired to work with her by her love of classic rock music and blues. I wanted to
honor that in making this album, but also add a little modern edge to it.”
On the 10-track album, Wicklund taps into the fury of loneliness (“Ghost”). She resurrects
specters of Hendrix and Joplin (“Looking Glass”) as well as power ballad intensity
(“Strawberry Moon”). Then, just as she’s supercharged you with about as much raw
energy as you can channel, she lets you down gently with the acoustic intimacy of
“Shadow Boxes”—but even here, her singing achieves an intensity that most artists can
only dream of rivaling. Her music stands on a bedrock of razor-edged, old-school rock ’n’
roll reanimated by a new generation’s urgency.
That impression is doubly emphasized in the video for the album’s first single, “Bomb
Through The Breeze,” a hurricane of swirling color interspersed with spare shots of
Wicklund and her band in action, with black bunnies and slithering snakes adding an eerie
visual complement.
“Sadler and I wrote this song [“Bomb Through the Breeze”] as a response to feeling
backed into a corner by someone who doesn't get the hint,” says Wicklund. “This is the
type of song to hopefully inspire some self-confidence when it comes to standing up for
yourself and others. Unfortunately, when someone's volume is on loud for so long, the
only way to get their attention is to do something even louder.”
At a table outside of an East Nashville bistro, Wicklund muses: “I feel my songwriting has
matured over the last few years, both lyrically and musically. I’m definitely proud of what
I’ve done previous to this new album, but hearing these latest songs finished for the first
time, I was able to recognize the overall development my music has gone through. A lot
of it came with getting older and living more life, experiencing things that were well worth
a song or two. I’ve always had a more serious and expressive tone to my music, which is
still prevalent, but in the last year my songs have started to cover a wider array of feelings
and are able to emote more than just a moody song in A minor. Working with a producer
that shared my musical taste, similar path and home state had a lot of impact as well.
Sadler did a great job of taking what I envisioned and refining it so that every part was
suiting the song.”
The buzz about Hannah Wicklund & The Steppin Stones is continuing to grow in America
and overseas, with the media taking notice. Guitar Player Editor-In-Chief Michael
Molenda (posting at GuitarPlayer.com on 9/13/17) has heralded Wicklund “not simply as
a shredder or a tonal colorist, though she certainly has chops and can go for some buzzy
and less-than-organic sounds. What’s impressive to me is how she uses her custom Tom
Anderson guitar and Orange half-stack to drive the emotional context of her songs with a
combination of spiky rhythms, slow lines, fast runs and cagey riffs. It all adds up to a
thrilling ride.” Over in the U.K., the influential Team Rock website noted that “Hannah
Wicklund blends bluesy sensibilities with tasty wah guitar and jutting rhythm–with notes
of (gutsier) Fleetwood Mac in the mix,” adding that she is “one to watch out for” (11/10/17).
The first rehearsal of The Steppin Stones was back in 2005, after which they were playing
six to nine shows every week. The first song they ever played was Neil Young’s “Rockin’
In The Free World” at a charity event in South Carolina. By the time Hannah graduated
from high school at 16, they had logged well over a thousand gigs together. She grew up
knowing that her life would be consumed by music. She understood that this meant
working hard but never losing touch with the intensity that music requires.
Hannah credits her father with instilling that lesson. Her first guitar was a present from
him, as a kind of atonement for getting rid of her backyard trampoline. That very night, he
taught her to play “Rockin’ In The Free World” and Tom Petty’s “It’s Good To Be King.”
(Creativity runs through the family: her mother, a talented artist, painted the latest Steppin
Stones album cover.) Wicklund ramped up her songwriting as well, based on the insights
she’d picked up from playing carefully selected covers with The Steppin Stones. “To craft
a song well, you look at whose songs you love,” she explains. “I love that we were a cover
band because we got to see what worked and what didn’t through other people’s musicand,
as a three-piece, how to make it work.”
At age 13, the band played the first of many private shows (which Hannah arranged) for
AC/DC frontman Brian Johnson and his vintage racing car team. As word began to
spread, the band went on to share billing with Jefferson Starship, The Outlaws, Kansas,
Jimmy Herring, St. Paul & The Broken Bones and other headliners. They’ve also
performed at major events such as the Peach Music Festival, Firefly Music Festival and
Kaaboo Del Mar.
Hannah Wicklund & The Steppin Stones continue to tear it up on the road. In late 2017,
they toured Europe and then performed more shows in the U.S., finishing the year out
with a string of shows with The Marshall Tucker Band. In January 2018, they’ll launch
“The Sibling Rivalry” tour with The High Divers (fronted by Hannah’s brother, Luke
Mitchell).
Their story continues--one step, one stone, and one night of thrilling music at a time.
The High Divers
The High Divers
After a horrific crash in June—in which a semi truck hit and flipped their tour van,
injuring all band members and crew—caused an unexpected delay, Charleston's
The High Divers will at long last release Chicora, their follow-up to
2015's Riverlust, on March 2, 2018 via True Blue Records.
It's been a long road to recovery, but the band was always determined to return to
the stage as soon as possible. “For a while, all we wanted to do was stare at a
wall,” says frontman Luke Mitchell. “Getting back to playing got my heart beating
again…We had just been sitting there in painful suspended animation, but getting
back to playing shows gave us something to work towards, a goal to struggle for."
Chicora takes its name from the Charleston neighborhood the band calls home, and
it's fitting, given they did all the recording in their living room. And although the
album was already finished before the van accident, it also serves as a reminder of
the community that rallied around the band in its time of need.
"The scene is really ridiculously, strangely supportive," Mitchell says. "I've lived
in Austin, Texas, and I've lived in Boston when I went to music school, and
everywhere else I've lived, there's always this huge competitive edge to everything
you do. But I feel like in Charleston, people just genuinely want everyone to be
okay, be their best selves...It's an amazing community of people, and they really
went out of their way to make us feel better after the wreck, and that was huge for
us."
That sense of community carries through Chicora, which Mitchell put the finishing
touches on shortly before marrying bandmate Mary Alice (keys/vocals), staying
up until 7 am on the eve of their rehearsal dinner mixing the record. Its 11 tracks
showcase the give-and-take present in any relationship, whether it's a romantic
pairing, a friendship or a family bond. On "Never Let You Down," you can feel the
love ("That's the one I'm most proud of personally, just because I think it really
encapsulates how Mary Alice and I feel about each other," Mitchell says). "Side
Man," on the other hand, is inspired by a string of divorces in the pair's hometown
after they graduated high school, and "Bend" is a tribute to Mitchell's mother.
"That song's about my mom and kind of growing up how I did," he explains. "We
lived in a really crappy apartment, but I never noticed how crappy until I went
back one day and was like 'Oh, yeah, this wasn't what I remembered.' But while we
were living there, my mom just worked her ass off to make things really seem
great, and she did an amazing job because I never noticed anything bad about
where we lived...My mom had a really hard life, and she made things really
beautiful for me and my little sister, so yeah, I guess it's kind of pulling the wool
over your kids' eyes but in the best way possible."
Musically, Chicora is a bit of a departure from Riverlust, as time on the road—
including opening slots with Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats, Delta
Spirit, Drive-By Truckers and Shovels & Rope—allowed fresh influences to seep
in.
“We made a conscious choice to experiment with straying from our southern roots
on this record,” Mitchell says. "On our first album, we had some things intertwined
on some of the songs that were a little bit country-ish leaning, almost twangy, and
we're kind of staying away from that and focusing on different styles we really
enjoy. Some of it's kind of Motown-inspired. Part of my family is from Michigan,
and Kevin our bass player was actually born outside of Detroit, so we're really
inspired by that kind of music. It's a little more rock and roll, even though it has
some obvious ballads on it. I think it still sounds a lot like us."
The band played over 50 shows just a month after their crash, and The High Divers
will be hitting the road again in January, with an extra taste of home with them this
time around: they'll be joined by Mitchell's sister and her band, Hannah Wicklund
& The Steppin' Stones, on the aptly named Sibling Rivalry Tour.
It's just one example of how the band heeds its own advice, taking to heart the
message behind Chicora and keeping loved ones near. "Hold people close that you
trust because there's not a lot of people out there that you can," Mitchell says. "I
think throughout the years of struggling in a band, finding people you can trust
their opinions and that want the best for you is really an amazing thing to have."
Venue Information:
Gas Monkey Bar N' Grill
10261 Technology Blvd E
Dallas, TX, 75220
http://gasmonkeybarngrill.com