The Desert Sun
Bruce Fessier

Wheeler has led more than a dozen bands over 36 years, playing hybrid genres he’s invented, such as “political sleng teng,” “proto-emo jangle rock” and “glam-inspired punk pop.” He might have set the precedent for desert rockers such as Josh Homme and Brant Bjork to feel it’s more important to be original than famous. His groups have opened for major artists as diverse as Queens of the Stone Age and Willie Nelson. But at 51, Wheeler is more a working rock-blues singer than a star.

Still, as a pioneering desert rocker and fourth-generation Palm Springs resident, he’s justified in calling himself “Desert Legend Sean Wheeler” on his latest album, “Sand In My Blood.”

“Sean was stoner rock 10 years too early,” said Bjork, co-leader with Homme of the ‘90s desert rock band, Kyuss, and a recent collaborator with Wheeler. “Sean is a true soul man and he personifies the desert unlike anyone I’ve ever known. His desert roots go back to the origin of Palm Springs. He is roots.”