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Watch Strand of Oaks cover Smashing Pumpkins and Ryan Adams at Boot and Saddle

Strand of Oaks at Boot and Saddle | Photo by John Vettese
Strand of Oaks at Boot and Saddle | Photo by John Vettese

If you did a YouTube search on Strand Of Oaks prior to 2013, you were likely to see a lot of videos of a lone Tim Showalter on stage or in a studio, chatty and engaging, wearing a guitar and possibly performing a cover. This was how Oaks got its start prior to expanding to full band status with the release of Dark Shores, and this was the Oaks we saw at Boot and Saddle this weekend for Showalter’s final shows in support of 2014’s HEAL.

For night one of the sold-out two night stand, Showalter played his breakout record in its entirety, backed by singer-songwriter Jason Anderson (of the band Tracks) on Rhodes keyboard, and introduced a few new Oaks cuts to the crowd.

Night two, however, was a  bit looser. Continue reading →

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Strand of Oaks covers My Morning Jacket, announces acoustic double-header at Boot and Saddle

It’s been a long year and a half since Strand of Oaks released its breakout album HEAL, and the band has been on the road more or less constantly ever since. Last night it opened for My Morning Jacket and today frontman Tim Showalter appeared on the XPN Morning Show with Helen Leicht to cover a beautiful MMJ cut and make an exciting announcement he first told the crowd from the Tower stage: next month, Oaks is playing two intimate, “anything goes” acoustic sets at Boot and Saddle in South Philly. Tickets for the December 11th and December 12th shows are on sale now. Continue reading →

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Get ready for My Morning Jacket’s Tower show with a live video for “Compound Fracture”

My Morning Jacket | Photo courtesy of the artist
My Morning Jacket | Photo by Danny Clinch | courtesy of the artist

As we reported earlier this month, rockers My Morning Jacket will be returning to the Philadelphia area with a show at Tower Theater in Upper Darby on November 19. If you didn’t get a chance to catch the band when they completely rocked their headlining performance at the XPoNential Music Festival, then maybe their newest video for “Compound Fracture” off their album The Waterfall will effectively whet your appetite. Continue reading →

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Get ready for a deluxe edition of Strand of Oaks’ HEAL

Strand of Oaks | Photo by Dusdin Condren
Strand of Oaks | Photo by Dusdin Condren

As if the album couldn’t be more impressive, Strand of Oaks‘ HEAL is getting a digital-only re-release with a handful of new tracks. Some highlights include a cover of Ryan Adams’ “My Wrecking Ball” that was recorded here at XPN (!), as well another cover – this one of The National‘s “Pink Rabbits.” That’s not to mention incredible alternate mix of “HEAL” thanks to producer John Congleton. Continue reading →

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Rounding up the best and brightest of Governors Ball 2015

Governors' Ball | Photo by Rachel Barrish
Governors Ball | Photo by Rachel Barrish

The annual Governors Ball festival is held at Randall’s Island in New York, wedged in between Upper Manhattan and Queens. The rain trickled down on Friday but that didn’t stop the ticket holders from trekking through to make it over for their favorite acts, most especially Philly’s The Districts who started off the fest Friday afternoon at 12:15. A bit too early for most, one would think, but they ripped through their set with a medium sized but lively crowd cheering along to the words of “Young Blood.” Continue reading →

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Strand of Oaks featured on the latest episode of WHYY’s On Tour

photo by Jeremy Zimmerman | Jeremy-Zim.com
photo by Jeremy Zimmerman | Jeremy-Zim.com

It will be a year this June since Philly’s Strand Of Oaks released HEAL, his acclaimed and celebrated album of rock and roll redemption. The album lifted the band to their most far-reaching, and well-deserved success to date. From the first song to the last, including stand out tracks like “Goshen ’97,” “Shut In,” and “JM,” Showalter wrote a powerful and introspective rock record. Continue reading →

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Documenting A Live Music Scene: A conversation with the man behind Philataper

photo by Jeremy Zimmerman | Jeremy-Zim.com
Strand of Oaks at Union Transfer, one of the shows documented by PhilaTaper | photo by Jeremy Zimmerman | Jeremy-Zim.com

You probably didn’t know it, but at the last concert you attended you may have been standing next to a taper. Just ask Kris, a.k.a. Philataper, who has been documenting live gigs for over 20 years. Just a quick perusal of his Soundcloud page shows a treasure trove of local happenings: Strand of Oaks at Union Transfer, Hiss Golden Messenger at Johnny Brenda’s, Doug Paisley at Boot and Saddle.

Recording shows isn’t contained to only the jam band scene, where tapers have been found in designated areas at shows for decades with portable recorders, preamps and microphones on tall stands. True, it’s the only scene that often openly allows taping. In fact, that’s where it all started for Kris (who asks that his last name remain anonymous because of the nature of his hobby). Continue reading →

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The Key’s Year-End Mania: Bruce Warren’s Best of Philly Music 2014

Amanda X: Tiff Yoon, Cat Park, Kat Bean | Photo by Peter Murray | petermurrayphotography.com
Amanda X: Tiff Yoon, Cat Park, Kat Bean | Photo by Peter Murray | petermurrayphotography.com

Year-End Mania is the Key’s survey of the things below the surface that made 2014 awesome. In this installment, XPN Program Director Bruce Warren weighs in on the 2014 Philly music scene.

We thought 2013 was a fantastic year for the Philly music scene, however 2014 proved to be even better. Continue reading →