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The High Key Portrait Series: Strand of Oaks

Strand of Oaks | photo by Josh Pelta-Heller for WXPN

High Key” is a series of profiles conceived with the intent to tell the story of Philly’s diverse musical legacy by spotlighting individual artists in portrait photography, as well as with an interview focusing on the artist’s experience living, creating, and performing in this city. “High Key” will be featured in recurring installments, as the series seeks to spotlight artists both individually and within the context of his or her respective group or artistic collective.

It was by luck of the draw that Tim Showalter became a Philadelphian. Having spent his childhood in his hometown of Goshen, Indiana, the Strand Of Oaks frontman was sold on Philly by a childhood friend of his who’d already pioneered the relocation, and to hear Showalter tell it, it hardly even feels adopted, anymore.

He makes reference to that several times, in a recent interview with us, effusive in his affection for all he feels Philly has been able to offer him over the past decade and a half here. Wearing his beard long and his lumberjack coat red, Showalter reminisced warmly about wandering the Wissahickon, building out his band, getting to see Philly legend Jack Rose play hallowed local stages like Brenda’s — and then, with a sense of genuine gratitude, the good fortune of getting to later play them himself.

Showalter also talks “Winter Classic”: a lineup of several consecutive Strand Of Oaks shows that launches tonight at Boot And Saddle. On deck this week to celebrate a fourth year of these gigs with him are folk-singer Joe Pug, and My Morning Jacket’s Carl Broemel. Continue reading →

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Watch Tim Showalter’s Goshen Electric Co. perform “Ring The Bell”

Goshen Electric Co. | still from video

Strand of Oaks frontman Tim Showalter spent just half a day recording as Goshen Electric Co., but he spent the better part of two decades as a fan of the late Jason Molina, who wrote music as Magnolia Electric Co. and Songs: Ohia. Since Molina’s passing in 2013, many artists have paid tribute to the songwriter by covering his deeply moving songs, but Showalter has taken his tribute a step further by teaming up with the remaining members of the Magnolia Electric Co. band to form Goshen Electric Co. and record a 7″ of two Molina deep cuts, out today. Continue reading →

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Strand Of Oaks’ Winter Classic IV features guests Joe Pug and My Morning Jacket’s Carl Broemel

Strand of Oaks | photo by John Vettese for WXPN

In what’s become something of a Philly tradition, Strand of Oaks will return to South Broad Street’s Boot and Saddle this December for three nights in a row: the storied Oaks Winter Classic, edition IV. This year, the shows take place Thursday, December 6th; Friday, December 7th; and Saturday, December 8th.

Unlike last year’s gigs, where Showalter hand-picked different openers each night, these shows will all feature Greenbelt, Maryland singer-songwriter Joe Pug — a full-circle moment, since one of Showalter’s first tours in the wake of Pope Killdragon‘s success was opening for Pug — as well as Carl Broemel of My Morning Jacket, who Strand of Oaks opened for at the Tower Theater in 2015. Continue reading →

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Watch Strand of Oaks reimagine “Same Emotions” live

Strand of Oaks | photo by John Vettese for WXPN

While touring through Europe this summer with and festival hopping in Belgium, the Netherlands, and Montenegro, Strand of Oaks‘ frontman Tim Showalter teamed up with three amazing Dutch musicians for his EU backing band. Showalter and company transformed the 2014 HEAL cut, “Same Emotions,” and developed it from a vaguely new wave electronic jams into a face-melting rock track. With the help of Showalter’s Dutch companions, the track transforms into an expansive 6 and a half minutes, and was captured in video form on July 21st at the Sea Rock Festival in Kotor, Montenegro. Continue reading →

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Strand of Oaks’ Timothy Showalter joins Magnolia Electric Co. tribute to Jason Molina

Strand of Oaks | photo by John Vettese for WXPN

In the years following the death of iconic singer-songwriter Jason Molina, many artists have come together to pay tribute — namely, the Songs: Molina project, which was started by Molina’s bandmates from Songs: Ohia and the Magnolia Electric Co. Songs: Molina, a Memorial Electric Co. will tour Europe this fall, with the addition of a familiar local face — Strand of Oaks‘ Timothy Showalter.

Showalter is a longtime Molina fan — the Strand of Oaks song “JM” is named for the musician, and he’s been known to share the story of the only time the two met. Molina himself spent some time in Philadelphia recording his 2002 album Didn’t It Rain, and Philly’s Mike “Slo-Mo” Brenner played slide guitar on the album. Also on the tour is Molina biographer Erin Osmon, author of Jason Molina: Riding With The Ghost. Continue reading →

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Strand of Oaks will be joined by Shannen Moser, Hemming and more at this year’s Boot & Saddle Winter Classic

Strand of Oaks | photo by Tom Beck for WXPN

Local favorites Strand of Oaks blew us away at Philly Music Fest this weekend, but if you missed the show or just couldn’t get enough, we have some good news. Tim Showalter just announced this year’s Winter Classic, an annual year-end event that’s become a tradition for the band and fans alike. It’s all happening over three nights this December at Boot & Saddle, and Oaks have enlisted a terrific roster of locals to open the stripped-down shows. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Strand of Oaks at Philly Music Fest, Soraia at MilkBoy, Thundercat at Union Transfer

Strand of Oaks | photo by Tom Beck for WXPN

It’s day two of the inaugural Philly Music Fest at World Cafe Live, and Strand of Oaks take the stage for a headlining set. The festival’s eclectic lineup seeks to showcase local musicians and encourage Philadelphians to support our scene. Also performing today are Steve Gunn, Deadfellow, Ivy Sole, Shannen Moser, and lots more. Check out the festival’s website for tickets, set times, and more info. We most recently saw Strand of Oaks rocking the Marina Stage at this year’s XPN Fest; read a recap of that performance here. Below, watch a video from the band’s recent World Cafe session. Continue reading →

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XPN Fest Recap: Strand of Oaks brings rock and redemption to the Marina Stage

Strand of Oaks | photo by Jeremy Zimmerman for WXPN

XPN Morning Show host Bob Bumbera gave Philly’s Strand of Oaks a rock star welcome to the stage, and the crowd followed his lead. When Tim Showalter stepped onto the Marina Stage, it felt like a long-awaited family reunion. When he started out with a cover of Father John Misty’s “Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings,” it felt like the best inside joke between old friends (if you aren’t up-to-date on the infamous FJM-XPN Fest series of events, check it out here because a Strand of Oaks post can’t turn into the pure comedy that follows in Josh Tillman’s wake). But as Showalter put it after the cover ended, “That’s some redemption for you, XPN Fest.” Continue reading →

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Break Prep: New Broncho, Downtown Boys & Shilpa Ray on the Indie Rock Hit Parade

Broncho | Photo by Pooneh Ghana, courtesy of the artist

This week’s Indie Rock Hit Parade will be the last one for a little bit, but believe me I have a very good excuse. Listen at 11pm ET on XPN (right after a week-early edition of Land of the Lost with Robert Drake) for a full two-hour show that’ll hopefully tide you over until our post-XPNFest return. In the spirit of next weekend’s bonanza, we’ll hear from a few IRHP favorites who’ll be joining us at the festival, like Sweet Spirit, Strand of Oaks and Hop Along. We’ll also sample new releases from bands who won’t be at the festival (not this year, anyway). Listen for new singles from Providence political punks Downtown Boys, NYC’s preeminent ‘door girl’ Shilpa Ray, and a roadtrip-ready track from Oklahoma’s Broncho. Preview some of those new tracks below…
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Watch a super-serious Strand of Oaks cover Peter Cetera’s “Glory of Love”

Strand of Oaks | photo by Tom Beck for WXPN

Everybody has their own routine to get ready for work. Timothy Showalter’s just might be a little different (OK, a lot different) compared to the rest.

Before a show earlier this week in Athens, Georgia, Strand of Oaks posted a video of Showalter and some of the crew warming up their pipes with a cover of Peter Cetera’s “Glory of Love.” The camera work and black-and-white editing add an entirely new level of entertainment value. Every few seconds brings a new surprise twist to this captivating and inspirational film. Watch it below for a good laugh. Continue reading →