The music of Steel Petals is grounded in roots and as such conjures up a warm familiarity we can all identify with. Combining elements of southern rock, country blues, gospel, soul, and funk, their music is driven by inspiration wholly unique to their own. Gritty lap steel, Hammond B3, electric piano, groove based drums and bass vanguard a style reminiscent of groups such as The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, The Allman Brothers Band, Mofro, The Black Crowes, James Gang, and Derek and the Dominoes.
While the band is not above the occasional jam, songs are concise but powerful and capable of attracting a diverse audience during live performances.
Steel Petals has come a long way in its two short years of evolution. Their hard work finally paid off when they were voted Best Original Band at the 2009 TUW Battle of the Bands at the Music Farm in Charleston. In April of 2010 the band released a new self-titled album containing 10 tracks of backyard blues rock bliss. Below is a description of members in the band. More info can be found on their website at http://www.steelpetals.net.
Steel Petals began in 2003 by guitarist, singer/songwriter Blake Ohlson who is originally from Cleveland, Ohio. He first began playing guitar at age 13. Bitten by the “blues bug” during college, he spent countless hours learning the riffs of greats such as Muddy Waters, Elmore James, Eric Clapton and Duane Allman. He soon began writing songs and catchy riffs that would later become the foundation of the band’s sound. Ohlson states, “I can play a little bit of everything, be it piano, drums or whatever. I love the guitar and can hold my own pretty well. But it took me a few years to figure out that good guitar players are a dime a dozen whereas good songwriters are not. I love a good guitar lead like the next guy but write a killer song and you can shake up the world.”
Always drawn by the “Sound of the South”, Ohlson moved with his wife and family to Charleston, SC in 2007 where he accepted a job, oddly enough, as an orthopaedic surgeon. Steel Petals was soon introduced with a fresh lineup of talented musicians. Ohlson first met drummer Duck Reynolds (formerly of the Defilers) and began laying the foundation for their current sound. They later acquired bassist Marty Whipkey and keyboardist Whitt Algar and began performing in and around Charleston. Ohlson points out that “the sound you hear today by the band is really what I had floating around in my head for the past ten years. It just took eight of the ten to figure out who and how to do it.”
Blake along with his wife and two boys reside on Daniel Island, SC. He spends his time between family, music and maintaining a busy surgical practice.
Born in Savannah GA in the late 70’s to a Chemist and a newspaper publisher, Duck has spent most of my life in South Carolina. Duck states, “I have been around music all my life; my grandfather, my father and my uncles were always playing music. Whether it was banjo, guitar, autoharp, piano, or drums.. I was always hearing some sore of music. I got my first taste of playing music at the age of 11 when I joined my church’s hand bell choir, playing the G, C, and E bells. This peaked my interest to further pursue other avenues of making music. My father bought me my first drum set at the age of 15 after several months of persuading him I would not play them too loud (he’s still not convinced!). He soon realized that this was something I was very passionate about and I have since been playing many different styles of music in such bands as Soul Palace, On the Verge, Foundation, and the Defilers. Steel Petals has allowed me to bring many years of experience from other bands so that I have an opportunity to focus on solid beats and rhythms behind a lineup of very talented musicians.
Whitt Algar grew up in Charleston and has been playing professionally since he was 16. His current projects include The Bushels and The Travis Allison Band. As Whitt so poignantly notes, “I wanted to be a guitar player but decided it looked too cool, so I opted for piano instead.” In his spare time, Whitt enjoys long walks on the beach and slaying dragons with a Nord Electro.
Originally born and raised in Ohio, Marty made his way to Charleston in the late 90’s after joining the Air Force and quickly made the Lowcountry home. Since he’d been involved in music most of his life, it didn’t take long before Marty was having fun playing bass in different bands around the Charleston area; some of these have included bands like FĀZ 2 and On the Hunt, and he’s also a founding member of Hundred Hands Down, currently writing and recording. Marty is proud and excited to be a member of Steel Petals and looks forward to what lies ahead for the band. Also, he and his loving wife, Kim, are expecting their first child, Leah, in early May of this year.