Hannah Wicklund & The Steppin’ Stones

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Steppin StonesHannah 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 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 music--and, 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.

It’s going to be an awesome weekend.  We hope you’ll join us.

All General Admission Tickets are sold via the Print At Home option.  You must print out your General Admission Tickets from your computer or download them to your phone and bring them with you to the festival for admission.  Be prepared to show a photo ID.

All single-day General Admission Tickets are day-specific, so when ordering please make sure you indicate which day you wish to attend.

For our Ticket Polices/Info/Disclaimer, CLICK HERE.

Camping is the best way to experience Rock, Ribs & Ridges 2018.  Make a weekend of it, partying with friends old and new.  The campgrounds are only a 3-minute walk from the festival!

Buy your camping (and RV passes) now and save big!!  Prices subject to change without notice.

EXCLUSIVELY FOR OUR CAMPERS:

Friday campers-only concert.

Friday night bonfire, following the campers-only concert.

Saturday evening campers-only concert.

24-hour access to restrooms and showers.

NEW FOR 2018!  Sunday Morning Get Together

Join us on Sunday morning for:

  • Free coffee and donuts
  • Complimentary copies of The Sunday Star Ledger
  • 30-minute walking tours of the beautiful Sussex County Fairgrounds (get that blood flowing)
  • “Storytime With Howard”. Howard Freeman, founder and president of Promo 1, will regale you with stories of life in the festival business, and take your questions

IF YOU’RE THINKING OF CAMPING, PLEASE TAKE A MINUTE TO READ THESE IMPORTANT NOTES

Each camper must purchase either Camping With General Admission or Camping With VIP Admission.  Please don’t purchase a General Admission Weekend Pass or VIP Weekend Pass.  Those don’t include the ability to camp.

If you are bringing an RV, you must purchase an RV pass in addition to your Camping With General Admission (or VIP) Passes.  As for what qualifies as an RV, please see below.

Children ages 4 – 12 camp for free, but must have either a Children’s General Admission Pass or Children’s VIP Weekend Pass.

Choose either Campgrounds West (quieter, lots of tent camping, electrical hookups available for RV’s), or Campgrounds East (the place for the hard-core partyers).  Make your selection when you place your order.  (For a map of the campground locations, CLICK HERE.)

For more RV info, CLICK HERE.

For all the Camping Do’s and Don’ts, CLICK HERE.

Camping is the best way to experience Rock, Ribs & Ridges 2018.  Make a weekend of it, partying with friends old and new.  The campgrounds are only a 3-minute walk from the festival!

Buy your camping (and RV passes) now and save big!!  Prices subject to change without notice.

EXCLUSIVELY FOR OUR CAMPERS:

Friday campers-only concert.

Friday night bonfire, following the campers-only concert.

Saturday evening campers-only concert.

24-hour access to restrooms and showers.

NEW FOR 2018!  Sunday Morning Get Together

Join us on Sunday morning for:

  • Free coffee and donuts
  • Complimentary copies of The Sunday Star Ledger
  • 30-minute walking tours of the beautiful Sussex County Fairgrounds (get that blood flowing)
  • “Storytime With Howard”. Howard Freeman, founder and president of Promo 1, will regale you with stories of life in the festival business, and take your questions

IF YOU’RE BRINGING AN RV, PLEASE TAKE A MINUTE TO READ THESE IMPORTANT NOTES

If you are bringing an RV, you must purchase an RV pass.  As for what qualifies as an RV, please see below.

Then – and this is really important - each person in the RV must purchase either Camping With General Admission or Camping With VIP Admission.  Please don’t purchase a General Admission Weekend Pass or VIP Weekend Pass.  Those don’t include the ability to camp.

Children ages 4 – 12 camp for free, but must have either a Children’s General Admission Pass or Children’s VIP Weekend Pass.

Choose either Campgrounds West (quieter, lots of tent camping, electrical hookups available for RV’s), or Campgrounds East (the place for the hard-core partyers).  Make your selection when you place your order.  (For a map of the campground locations, CLICK HERE.)

For all the Camping Do’s and Don’ts, CLICK HERE.

OTHER IMPORTANT RV STUFF

An RV is any vehicle equal to or larger than a 15-passenger van.  All oversized vehicles, trailers, campers that are towed, and buses are considered RV’s.  These vehicles, if staying with us the entire weekend, need an RV Pass.

RV spots are 20′ X 40′.

20, 30 and 50-amp electrical service is available in Campgrounds East.  However, the number of 50-amp hookups is limited, so please order early.  Campgrounds West only has 20-amp electrical service.

All RV’s have access to a water spigot (gravity feed) and to the waste water dump site on the festival grounds (you empty your own waste tank). If you desire, you can make arrangements with our portable toilet company to have them pump out your waste water tank on Sunday morning, June 24.  The contact information for this service will be given to you on site at check-in.

Looking to park your RV next to your friends?  We’ll make every effort to accommodate you; there’s a place to indicate your preference when you’re buying your RV Pass.

A Miller Mezzanine Reserved Table is a fantastic way to enjoy the festival with your friends, valued employees or key clients.

Tables can be reserved for 4, 6 or 10 guests. But hurry – Miller Mezzanine Tables ALWAYS sell out.

Miller Mezzanine Tables come complete with:

  • A reserved table for 4, 6 or 10 guests
  • A close-up, unobstructed view of The Main Entertainment Stage;
  • One (1) complimentary, mouth-watering barbeque meal for each guest, courtesy of one of our bbq concessionaires;
  • T-shirt for each of your guests;
  • Free bottles of water;
  • Private restroom facilities;
  • Private cash bar – no standing in line.

All single-day Miller Mezzanine Reserved Tables are day-specific, so when ordering please make sure you indicate which day you wish to attend.