LIVE: The Steel Wheels @ Caffe Lena, 3/30/15

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Photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk

There aren’t many guarantees in the fickle music biz, but if there’s one thing for certain, it’s this: When the Steel Wheels roll into Caffe Lena in Saratoga Springs, you’d better get your tickets early.

The four-piece, harmony-laden Americana stringband from the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia returned to the Spa City’s venerable coffeehouse on a recent Monday night for their third annual appearance. And just like their previous two performances, this one was completely sold out well in advance of the concert.

In support of their new album Leave Some Things Behind, steel-voiced tenor and guitarist Trent Wagler led his bandmates – fiddler Eric Brubaker, bassist Brian Dickel and mandolinist-guitarist Jay Lapp – through a hot-wired evening of electrifying mountain music, fusing old-time musical traditions with their own innovative sound as they clustered around a single microphone.

And, yes, in Saratoga the Steel Wheels certainly did leave something behind – another seriously satisfied crowd of fans.

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