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VIDEO: The Steel Wheels roll into Mansfield, add benefit ride in Norton; annual songwriters contest Saturday

2012 May 14

The Steel Wheels, an outstanding Americana music group who takes their bike riding almost as seriously as their music, will roll into Mansfield’s Rose Garden Coffeehouse for a featured performance on Saturday, May 19 at 8:00 pm.  Earlier in the day, the boys will have led a 15-mile charity bike ride to benefit Corey Dominick, a young Norton father of two who was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer just this past Valentine’s Day.

The Steel Wheels

The Steel Wheels

I booked The Steel Wheels almost 18 months ago when they were barely known and I knew their career would be taking off. In fact, it has, in many ways. A couple of weeks ago they played for two days at the prestigious Merlefest and just this past week they were the featured artist on NPR’s Song of the Day.

The Dominick Family of Norton

The Dominick Family of Norton

But they really impressed me even further when their “Spokesman” contacted me a couple of weeks ago to see if they could ride their bikes on the day of the show to raise money for someone locally who needed some assistance.

“Wheels Up for Corey” is a 15-mile bike ride on May 19 that is still evolving. Each rider is being supported by a financial donation to benefit this Norton family, and riders are still needed. Anyone interested in participating can contact me at Here’s the whole story on the bike ride.

But let’s get back to their music and the Rose Garden performance. These four guys are based in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia and are going to put on quite a show. They are truly an Americana band, rooted in musical styles that explore the territories between blues and bluegrass, old-time sing-alongs and foot-stompin’ fiddle tunes. This YouTube video shows how they took an American standard called “Red Wing”  and completely re-wrote it to become a Steel Wheels classic:

Their performance on May 19 will follow the finals of the Rose Garden’s 20th Annual Performing Songwriter Competition. Singer/songwriters Martin Swinger, Augusta, ME; Ashley Jordan, Harvard, MA; and Dan Cloutier, Upton, MA will perform the songs that got them to the finals.

A panel of music industry professionals will evaluate the performances and announce their winning selection at the end of the evening. So, it will be quite a day (and night) for these Steel Wheels.

The Rose Garden Coffeehouse is held in The Congregational Church at 17 West Street in Mansfield. Doors open at 7:30 pm and tickets for the 8:00 pm show should be available at the door, but I would urge anyone who is coming to purchase in advance at www.rosegardenfolk just to be safe.

More information about the Rose Garden coffeehouse and the performers may be obtained by calling 508-699-8122, visiting, or going to Facebook at

— Guest writer, Mac McLanahan, Artistic Director, Rose Garden Coffeehouse


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