The Wheeler Brothers (from the album Gold Boots Glitter) - One of the perks about being a fan of Roots music is that no banner needs to be flown or borders guarded against alien musical forms invading. We are more inclusive than exclusive, and the smart money rides on bands that use everything at their disposal. On that note, enter the Wheeler Brothers.On Gold Boots Glitter, the Wheeler Brothers take full advantage of being a Roots band and sample liberally from Rock, Folk, Americana, Blues and other organic influences. The Wheeler Brothers have no need to edit themselves or their music into something that fits a format. They are right there. Roots bands have the ability to get their rock on without any hesitation or controls put in place to make sure the music does not exceed what is expected. What we expect of our Roots artists is that they will do the best they can in making full albums. The Wheeler Brothers have met the challenge with Gold Boots Glitter.
“Cigarette Smoke” coughs up a chugging blues/rock riff with a heavy edge to it; “Under a Bridge” fights for a safe place to stand “shaking in the wind” with a rock force watching its back, and the title track takes a Supertramp style arrangement run at classic rock. The songs compiled on Gold Boots Glitter serve no one god; cuts like “Struggle With It All You Like” travel through an Alt Country middle ground that relies on its Roots and its Rock to fulfill all the tracks needs as angular riffs play nice with tasty country chord echoes.
Gold Boots Glitter opens on an acoustic guard mandolin rhythm with “My Time”; “Heather” sports a powerful arrangement that is equal parts of both twang and jangle from the guitar work as the story travels through Central Texas, and “Sleep When I’m Dead” bounces on a busking beat for a road song that burns down the highway while the narrator of the tune listens to a Stones tune.
The Wheeler Brothers have delivered a powerful calling card as a follow-up to the well-received debut, Portraits. Their second album, Gold Boots Glitter, comes out on a label owned by Ray Benson (Asleep at the Wheel) called Bismeaux Records. Life provided a unique experience for the creation of Gold Boots Glitter. Brother Nolan Wheeler relates the experience of returning home to the brothers’ digs in hill country about an hour outside of San Antonio. The vocalist/guitarist recalls “There’s something about removing yourself from the city and getting out into the country. Nobody’s cell phone worked! It was our first time collaborating with a producer (Austin-based singer/songwriter Drew Smith). His background resembles ours. He understands mixing genres and implementing different elements into one thing. We have similar personalities, and we were all working towards the same thing”.
It is that way of doing business with music, the mixing and matching of genres, styles and forms to create something new that is Roots music, and the Wheeler Brothers have a knack for making the results into something bigger than the sum of its parts.