Chloe and the Steel Strings
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Chloe and the Steel Strings

Toledo, Ohio, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2017 | SELF

Toledo, Ohio, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2017
Band Americana Folk




"Chloe and the Steel Strings Dive into the Toledo Music Scene"

Local folk band Chloe and the Steel Strings aren’t the most seasoned musicians, but their newness only makes them more exciting to watch as they boldly enter Toledo’s music scene. Twenty-year-old twin sisters Chloe and Anna Wagenhauser, along with 22-year-old Connor Ward, make up the dreamy folk trio. Though the band is young in more ways than one— they only formed in March of 2017— that fact belies their comfortable stage presence and effortless energy.

Chloe and Anna have been playing music for most of their lives, performing briefly as a band called Up for Interpretation during their time in high school. A Cleveland native, Ward provides backup vocals and bass guitar, bringing along his experience from playing with bands from his hometown. The three met in 2016, and after encouraging each other’s musical pursuits, decided to combine their passions into a single project.
Combining old and new

The band tends to play mostly covers at their live performances, finding it the easiest way to engage a crowd. Their repertoire includes ’90s alt-rock, classic rock, oldies, and some modern pop.

“We’re trying to reach a broader audience, and it’s hard to do that when you only play original songs,” says Anna, “so we usually play five covers and one original, and we’ve found that it’s a good ratio. By the time we play the original, the audience is paying attention and really listening to it.” As their audience expands and word of their music spreads, they plan on adding more original tunes to their set list.

The magic of their music relies heavily on melodic vocals— think Swedish sister duo First Aid Kit for comparison. Influences from Joni Mitchell, Joan Baez, Sheryl Crow, Norah Jones, and Alanis Morissette are evident in the band’s light but emotional folk vibe. Their EP, an eight-track self-titled album recorded at Toledo’s Firefly Studio, ranges from sugary pop-inspired tracks to tunes influenced by ’90s grunge, all through the unique female-centric filter.

“We want to keep it simple,” says Anna. “Chloe’s lyrics are what we want to shine; we don’t want the instruments to overpower the vocals.” And the album does shine, drawing you in with heartfelt lyrics, simple and lovely instrumentation, and fresh but familiar melodies. - Toledo City Paper

"Rising Band Chloe and the Steel Strings to play at Levis Square"

When Chloe Wagenhauser put together songs for her Spotify album, it was simply to give family and friends a recollection of her music.

But now looking back about a year later, it’s become so much more.

The album was created as the band Chloe and the Steel Strings began to take shape, and as Miss Wagenhauser sees it, having a produced album out already has helped the band quickly rise up the ranks of Toledo-area bands. They’ll play Thursday at Lunch at Levis Square in downtown Toledo.

“We’re kind of baffled by it,” band member Connor Ward said. “We’d rather be busy than not playing at all. My parents are surprised. They didn’t think it would work out this way.”

Miss Wagenhauser added, “We are surprised by how fast its come, and it’s only going up from here.”

Miss Wagenhauser handles lead vocals and rhythm guitar while also taking songwriting duties. Her twin sister, Anna, plays piano and keyboards while providing backing vocals. Mr. Ward is on bass guitar and backing vocals; Andre Shepherd handles cajon and percussion, and Pete Rodriguez plays lead guitar. Other than Mr. Ward, who is from Brecksville in the Cleveland area, the rest of the band is from the Toledo area.

To read more, download Blade NewsSlide at - The Toledo Blade

"Chloe and the Steel Strings releases its first album"

A local band comprised of five University of Toledo students just released their first album: Chloe and the Steel Strings.

For third-year Chloe Wagenhauser, a Biology-pre-med major, playing in front of large crowds has always been just a dream. However, since releasing her album, Chloe and the Steel Strings has gained recognition and started performing shows around the Toledo area and throughout the midwest.

“The first time we all played together was at the Ottawa Tavern in Toledo,” Chloe said. “Now there are some weeks we play five or six shows.”

Her interest in music initially began when she was in elementary school, singing with her twin sister, Anna. When Chloe entered high school as a freshman, she taught herself to play guitar, and soon after started writing her own songs.

Now, after a whole year of writing and recording her original music, Chloe has released her first album comprised of eight songs. Chloe said she recorded her album in a local Toledo studio called Firefly Studios.

“It’s a lot more work than it seems,” third-year economics major Anna Wagenhauser said.

Anna plays piano and manages marketing for the band. She said she hopes to make a career out of music marketing someday.

Although the band formed in May 2017, what’s helped them grow is their passion, talent, strong connection, and bassist Connor Ward’s prior experience of playing for a band called Spilled Milk in Cleveland.

Chloe and Connor met at an open mic a little over a year ago and started jamming together. Chloe already had original material, and fourth-year finance and marketing student Ward helped with the recording of her album.

Soon, Anna, percussionist Andre Shepard, and guitarist Pete Rodriguez joined the duo, making Chloe and the Steel Strings a five-member band.

"It's been really cool. I never anticipated that we would be doing so much so quickly, but the doors keep on opening," Chloe said.

For her, it’s almost like another full-time job balancing rehearsals, writing music and performing. Chloe added that the hardest part has been marketing the group, since today’s music industry is very competitive.

"Now you have to prove to a lot of recording companies that you already have followers, that you already have people that listen to your music," Chloe said.

However, making it big in the industry isn’t something she’s focused on right now, Chloe said. Instead, she wants to make enough money as a musician to have a sustainable music career and go on tours.

"I would like to have a small group of followers who connect with my music,” Chloe said. "I'm not looking for a lot; I just want to do what I love and make enough money to support myself."

Ward also hopes to make a steady career out of music. He added that since music is his passion, he always finds time for it, even with his busy schedule.

"I look forward to going out and playing in front of crowds, hoping that they enjoy it," Ward said.

Ward said what’s different about Chloe and the Steel Strings is that they have a newer sound- something people are going to tune into. - The Independant Collegian

"Five Brand New Americana and Folk Tunes Just for You (and your four thousand closest friends)"

Chloe and the Steel Strings – “Something Real”
-If you’re looking for something a little sweeter, Chloe and the Steel Strings have that for you. I’ll tell you right now the subtle classic piano work on this track will win your heart. Of course the lead vocal is beautiful, but the balance of that with the piano works really well. The lyrics are charming, too. In a world of so many fake people, it is all we really want to find someone who we can be “real” with. - Ear to the Ground


Chloe and the Steel Strings (November 1, 2017)
1. Face the Day
2. Chasing a Dream
3. Something Real
4. Holding On
5. Brianna's Song
6. Watching You Leave
7. Feeling Blue
8. The Way We Danced
1. Like Mad (October 1, 2018)
2. Wouldn't Wish on Anyone (January 1, 2019)



“I know that music is my calling; it’s the best and only option for my life. I have this urgent feeling that if I give Chloe & the Steel Strings my all, unbelievable things will happen.”– Chloe Wagenhauser (lead singer, songwriter, rhythm guitar)

Unbelievable things are happening, many of which Chloe would have never expected after declining her medical school acceptance in November 2017 to pursue music.

Flash back to an earlier time – identical twins Chloe and Anna Wagenhauser (piano/backup-vocals) grew up in a musical family: their father quit his job when they were 10 to pursue an opera singing career, traveling to NYC from their hometown of Toledo, OH for lessons and auditions. The sisters followed suit in their early years, singing and playing music whenever they could. As the years passed and college came around, Chloe declared a biology pre-med major (as she had always been bright). Though she had done well in her other science classes, her college courses were particularly strenuous, and Chloe soon realized that she had declared the pre-med major more so to please her family and friends than to pursue her own purpose. Writing music became an outlet for Chloe to overcome the stresses of school and family pressures – especially when Chloe and Anna’s parents began a messy divorce in September 2016.

As her song collection expanded by the day, Chloe decided to bring some of her original music to an open mic night near the University of Toledo’s campus. Walking into the open mic, she saw a mysterious and dark-haired bassist named Connor Ward: she complimented him on his cover of the Beatles’ “Rocky Racoon,” and soon they were meeting daily to play music together. Connor had been in a successful band in high school and encouraged Chloe to record some of her original music; he also gave Chloe a unique perspective on life, music, and what it means to be happy.

With Connor’s encouragement, Chloe went into Firefly Studios in Toledo to record her original music that November. What began as a 4-song EP turned into 8 songs, as Chloe continued to write about her family’s difficult situation, the struggle of deciding a career path and deciphering her relationship with Connor. Chloe soon realized she wanted more for her songs than simply acoustic guitar, and eventually invited Connor and Anna to play bass and piano (the group that would later blossom into Chloe & the Steel Strings with the addition of Pete Rodriguez on lead guitar and drums, and Andre Shepard on congas).

But picking between happiness and “stability” was just one challenge for Chloe to overcome. Chloe and Anna had been living with their parents throughout college, but with persistent fighting in the house and multiple police visits, they had little choice but to move out. With almost no money saved, and the help of their grandparents, the twins packed their belongings and found themselves taking on adult responsibilities that they weren’t prepared for – including figuring out how to fully fund their own album. The following year flew by, however, as the girls settled into apartment life, Chloe prepared to interview at medical schools in the Fall, and Chloe and Connor played a summer full of live shows as Chloe & the Steel Strings.

 It was soon time for Chloe’s interview at the University of Toledo Medical Center in September 2017. The interview began with an introductory video about all Toledo has to offer: the video showed shots of the Toledo skyline, accompanied by an ironic number of shots about music and performance – people singing, playing guitar and recording music. She felt immediately out of place, acknowledging for the first time that music was her true calling and biggest dream. Chloe left the interview feeling uneasy about her future… She received her medical school acceptance letter a month later and declined the offer, to the dismay of many family and friends. However, Chloe is confident in her ability to achieve her goals, and knows she won’t regret the decision to chase her dreams.

Chloe & the Steel Strings is in its first full year of existence, and wonderful things are happening for everyone in the group: Chloe graduated in December 2018 with her degree in Biology and Chemistry, and is now pursuing music full-time. The band is also raising money for a tour bus for Summer 2019, and they invite you to be part of their journey.

“Chloe & the Steel Strings is on the rise…” – The Toledo Blade

“Though the band is young in more ways than one…that fact belies their comfortable stage presence and effortless energy.” – The Toledo City Paper

“… Chloe & the Steel Strings is the areas hottest band…” – Beinstrumental Foundation

Band Members