Hannah Wicklund & The Steppin Stones with The High Divers
The Sibling Rivalry Tour
Hannah Wicklund & The Steppin Stones are fronted by a 20-year-old powerhouse guitarist, vocalist and songwriter. The South Carolina-born (and now East Nashville- based) 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.
The buzz about Hannah Wicklund & The Steppin Stones is continuing to grow in America and overseas, with the media taking notice. 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.
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."
JaM Cellars Ballroom at Margrit Mondavi Theatre is UPSTAIRS in the historic Napa Valley Opera House in Downtown Napa
GENERAL ADMISSION & STANDING
$20 Advance / $25 Day of Show
$45 GA Balcony Access
Each person does require a ticket for entry. We welcome ages 8+ with children under 16 accompanied by an adult.
No Refunds. No professional cameras or outside food and drink.
Patrons attending a show upstairs in the Ballroom are welcome to dine in the restaurant downstairs starting at 5:30 pm if the show(s) downstairs is not Sold Out or if there is seating available. Bars are available both up and downstairs.
Due to the historic nature of the Ballroom, there are no bathrooms located upstairs. Facilities are located downstairs through the Blue Note Club and are accessible via stairs or the elevator.
Ear Plugs are available for free at the Box Office
Any special needs or accommodation requests, please call our Box Office prior to the show.
Thank you, and we look forward to seeing you at the JaM Cellars Ballroom!
1030 Main Street, Napa CA 94559
Box Office: 707.880.2300 (Tues-Sat, 3:30-9:30 pm, Sun 1 hr before doors)
Hannah Wicklund & The Steppin Stones are fronted by a 20-year-old powerhouse guitarist, vocalist and songwriter. The South Carolina-born (and now East Nashville-based) 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 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.
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."
Chicora will be released on March 2, 2018 on True Blue Records.