Strand Of Oaks

Photo by Alysse Gafkajen

Tim Showalter albums are always an open book. House burning down, martial issues or existential midlife crisis; Tim is never shy about letting you in to be part of his therapeutic experience. For Eraserland, Tim was roused from a creative funk by the MMJ lads to put forth what is slowly becoming my favorite Strand of Oaks album.

The album opens with Weird Ways, a track where Tim seems to be wondering if the rock n roll lifestyle is for him. The tune starts off with Tim sounding exhausted only for the music to crescendo in a manner that makes it feel as it is a comeback of sorts. The ride from Keys (track 3) to Wild and Willing (Track 8) is like reading from a journal Tim starts off wondering where he fits in from a personal perspective in Keys and then is lost, then found, lost, then found and then digs deep into his career on the gorgeous Wild and Willing.

I’ve been listening to this album on repeat as I’ve been reading Steven Hyden’s excellent Twilight of The Gods; an examination of the end of classic rock. Tim is a throwback rock star. He’s bigger than life and this album further cements him as one of the best around. Not to mention, he is hands down one of the nicest people you’ll meet.

Follow me on Twitter at @WoodyHearYa or @HearYa

Strand of Oaks is here

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Photo by Alysse Gafkajen

Our love affair with Tim Showalter’s music is well known. He is one of my favorite musicians to talk to and read about. To read in this press release, that Oaks was almost over until his pals at MMJ wrangled him into a studio left me fraught with concern. But then I hit play on the first track and that was all washed away. Eraserlandhead will be out on 3/22 via the fine folks at Dead Oceans.

Writer-producer Timothy Showalter has always used the highs and lows of his own life as the source material for his gut punching rock songs. Each of his experiences examined, mediated on and crafted into confessional albums for the world to share. The therapeutic experience of making art this way was often short lived, leading Showalter to bouts of depression and after 2017’s Hard Love, he found himself spent. Empty and determined that he would never write songs again, dark thoughts crept in and Showalter, concerned for his own well-being decided to go on a spiritual pilgrimage – to the Jersey Shore.

Follow me on Twitter at @WoodyHearYa or @HearYa

Strand of Oaks is here

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Strand Of Oaks – Hard Love {album review)

by Woody on February 17, 2017

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As Tim Showalter’s stature in the music world has grown; a steady stream of very interesting pieces are written about him. During the release of HEAL, Steven Hyden did a phenomenal piece on Grantland ; as did Spin. With the success of HEAL and the upcoming release of Dark Love, Stereogum did a piece that left me exhausted. These pieces portray a conflicted version of Tim; a man stuck between a full-fledged rock star and a homebody happy to hang with his wife at home.

And that struggle is at the center of what makes Hard Love such a worthy encore to HEAL. From On The Hill, a track inspired by an acid-induced awakening that changed the direction of this album to the album’s emotional centerpiece – Cry; a piano ballad that sees Tim pouring his heart out; there seems to be an inner struggle on what Tim wants with his life. And it is all out there for you, the listener, to disect.

And then there’s Taking Acid And Talking To My Brother, an eight minute opus dealing a medical emergency his brother suffered in Indiana. As Tim was trying to balance the hedonistic mind-altering life of a rock and roll star with the day to day domestic responsibilities of making a marriage work; his life was turned upside down due to his brother’s ailment. Spending two weeks sleeping in the hospital as his brother lay in a coma was as his press release stated, “represents Showalter’s last-ditch attempt at reconciling his personal life and his impulsions.”

To me, Tim is a larger than life rock ‘n’ roll personality but does he want to be. Sharing that struggle with us in a such a raw manner is what makes his music so special.

Follow me on Twitter at @WoodyHearYa or @HearYa

Strand of Oaks is here

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Starnd of Oaks announces Dark Love – 2/17/17

by Woody on December 1, 2016

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Tim is back!!!! Following up on the 2014’s game-changing HEAL, Strand of Oaks is set to release Dark Love on 2/17/17 via the fine folks of Dead Oceans. To say we’re fans of Tim is an understatement. I think I speak for everybody who’s ever been associated with HearYa when I say, we feel a bond with his music that we don’t with may other acts. In my warped mind, I feel like we have a vested interest in his career. Anyway, the new album kicks ass. Have a listen to the first single and circle February 17th on your calendar. Here’s some more info on the album.

Tim had this to say, “Some records are built like monuments, set in stone,” says Showalter. “I want this record to be burned in effigy, in celebration of the limited time we have on this earth.”

Hard Love walks a tightrope of emotions — from rock ‘n’ roll abandon to harrowing self-reflection — and Showalter has lived every minute of it. From a life-changing psychedelic awakening at the Boogie Festival in Australia (“On The Hill“) to his own domestic troubles (“Hard Love”) and the near-death of his brother from cardiac arrest (“Taking Acid and Talking With My Brother“), Hard Love is a sledgehammer of a record rife with unrestrained sonic expression.

Written and conceptualized during Showalter’s post-tour break as he reveled in what he considered to be a life-changing experience, the initial sessions for Hard Love were scrapped. Showalter brought in producer Nicolas Vernhes to capture the loose, hedonistic vibe he was searching for. “In a time of calculation and overthinking, I wanted to bring back the raw, impulsive nature that is the DNA of so many records I love,” says Showalter, who draws from his love of Creation Records, Trojan dub tapes and Jane’s Addiction throughout the album’s nine tracks.

But that rocking intensity is tempered by the wounded ballad “Cry,” a sobering moment of clarity that serves as the emotional fulcrum of the record. It’s this strain of honesty and self-reflection that helps mark ‘Hard Love’ as the most fearless work of Showalter’s career — a growing up record that lobbies just as hard for holding on to youthful foibles.

Follow me on Twitter at @WoodyHearYa or @HearYa

Follow Tim here

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Strand of Oaks – HEAL [album review]

June 24, 2014

I was an Indiana kid, gettin no one in my bed I had your sweet tunes to play I was staring at the map, feeling fire in my head I had your sweet tunes to play I was mean to my dad, cause I was mean to myself I had your sweet tunes to play […]

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Strand of Oaks – Goshen ’97: HEAL out on June 24

April 4, 2014

Tim Showalter is one of music’s good guys. Hell, he was one of life’s good guys. So its good to see him getting his just due in terms of success and recognition. At HearYa, we couldn’t be any happier that he’s been signed to Dead Oceans. His new album, HEAL, will be out on June […]

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Strand of Oaks shares Trap Door. Dark Shores out tomorrow!

July 23, 2012

In keeping with the purity of truly independent music, Timothy Showalter, aka Strand of Oaks, is self-releasing Dark Shores tomorrow without the benefit of a label and the accompanying promotional budgets. We featured the first single entitled “Maureen’s” a month ago and we now have “Trap Door” available to stream below. He’s touring with The […]

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Strand of Oaks releases Maureen’s from Dark Shores [new mp3]

June 19, 2012

Timothy Showalter, aka Strand of Oaks, has become a friend of HearYa. He’s performed two incredible live sessions with us (here and here)and we’ve seen him at many a show, including a few trips at SxSW. It was this year’s trip to Austin when I last bumped into Tim. We knew he was fresh off […]

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Damien Jurado tweets that this version of “Ohio” is better than his own.

April 8, 2011

I spoke with Tim (aka Strand of Oaks) after his set at The Earl in Atlanta the other night, and he was on top of the world. Damien Jurado recently took notice of our Strand of Oaks session and tweeted to his followers that the Strand Of Oaks cover of  “Ohio” was better than his […]

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Joe Pug covered Tex Thomas last night at The Earl. Tex who?

April 7, 2011

Joe Pug and Strand of Oaks played an early show at The Earl in Atlanta last night. I’d review the show, but do I really need to say more about Joe and Tim? It’s impossible not to love both of these artists and I’m proud to have been introduced to their music very early on […]

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