The Country in Nashville was a packed house on March 7 for Steve Moakler's album release party. Friends of Moakler, fellow songwriters, music industry professionals and more gathered to support the native Pennsylvania artist in the release of his new album, Steel Town.

Moakler performed three songs from the album — two that have already been released, one that he debuted that night — in a short set that included various band members and the album's songwriters.

He opened the set with the album's lead single "Wheels" and prefaced the tune with the story behind its creation.

"I'm so proud of this song," Moakler said onstage. "We got together, and I think we were working on a completely different song, and I don't think any of us were really on fire about it. So we stopped, and we talked again about all of our ideas, and Caitlyn (Smith) brought up the idea to write a song called 'Wheels.' I don't think we knew what it was going to become yet. We just were trying to find all the ways we could write the song, and I don't remember which one of us said, 'Wheels start off pushing you on forward and you don't have a say in where you're going,' but that was when we knew, oh my gosh, we're about to tell the story of life and growing up."

Moakler followed with the debut of "Just Long Enough," and noted he pictured himself on his high school bleachers while writing the song. In a full circle moment, he and a friend later broke into the area behind those very bleachers to take photos for the album.

The set ended with the good-time tune "Love Drunk."

"Girl you've got me sideways / Keep me off the highways / Whatever you're serving / Pour me one more round / I'm in for the long haul / Long after the last call / I know I'll be feeling like I do right now. ... I'm love drunk, love drunk," Moakler sang.

The new album is an homage to Moakler's roots.

"This album is called Steel Town," Moakler said. "I grew up in Western Pennsylvania, just south of Pittsburgh, and a lot of you guys know, Pittsburgh is known as Steel City. We [were] known for making the most steel anywhere in the world for a long period of time. ... I'm convinced that we made so much at one time, that it's left over in the people. I don't know if that's true or not, but it is helpful to believe sometimes. When you're up against a hard time, when you're struggling, and even when you just want to dare to dream about something bigger than yourself, it's really helpful to think that maybe you have a little bit of steel in you. That's the inspiration behind this album."

Steel Town dropped on March 17. Moakler is promoting the album by headlining the SiriusXM Highway Finds Tour.

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