Event: Strand of Oaks concert
Venue: Hemming Park
Date/Time: March 26, 8pm
Folk and rock project Strand of Oaks, a.k.a. Timothy Showalter, will be the first to play at Hemming Park’s inaugural concert series presented by the nonprofit group Friends of Hemming Park, on Saturday, March 26 at 8pm. EU recently spoke with Showalter about the upcoming show, his future record, and the evolution of his music.
While enjoying a cup of coffee on his porch in Philadelphia, Timothy Showalter explained that after recently playing a show in the mountains of Washington State, he is more than excited to play in the much warmer weather of Florida. Showalter is currently prepping for a month long stay in New York to record his latest album. “One moment you’re thirteen playing guitar in your room, and then you are really going for it. It is a job, and you can make it an awesome job as long as you put the work in,” he said. Commenting on the new material, the songwriter explained, “I don’t have any children myself, but I feel it’s like raising a kid; there’s like these infants and they are really susceptible to danger and you have to protect them.”
This Midwesterner has expanded his sound from his soft and sensitive acoustic folk beginnings to something much more full and loud. His last release, HEAL, marked a change in not only Showalter’s music, but also in his life and his emotions. ‘Goshen ’97’ is a literal and autobiographical track that takes you back to the musician with his Casio in his childhood room in Indiana. This is bedroom rock at its finest. HEAL is an album that just poured and flowed out of Showalter; it was a very much needed therapeutic release, he explained. The album is a mix of everything that has made Showalter who he is; an ode to his past of rock, folk, grunge, and his personal heroes like Jason Molina. He explained the first song he learned to cover was ‘Doll Parts’ by Hole to impress some girls after we talked about synthesizers for ten minutes. He lives for this stuff.
“I like to be so prepared with songs, that I can destroy them and completely rebuild them and they are not going to lose what’s important about them. I never know what direction it may go in.”
Honest in his lyrics and style, as the sound for Strand of Oaks increased, so did the intensity of the words; a natural progression of personality. Life changes people, so inherently the music that he creates also changes and evolves. Fires, crashes, and broken hearts can all be channeled and transformed into something beautiful for a creative person. Some of life’s most traumatic and difficult times can also be the most energizing and motivational forces.
Showalter is humble and sensible. He creates to create because music is his life. He writes about what he knows and what he feels. On going into the studio he stated, “I like to be so prepared with songs, that I can destroy them and completely rebuild them and they are not going to lose what’s important about them. I never know what direction it may go in.”
After touring with artists like My Morning Jacket, Ryan Adams, and The Tallest Man on Earth, it will be a pleasure for Jacksonville to welcome Strand of Oaks thanks to the Friends of Hemming Park, who are committed to the continuing transformation of downtown’s Hemming Park. “We are excited to bring this emerging artist to Jacksonville for the first time,” said Vince Cavin, CEO of Friends of Hemming Park. “We feel the park is an ideal setting for the Strand of Oaks concert and hope the community will enjoy their performance as well as the park, which has once-again become a center of cultural activity in Downtown Jacksonville. We plan for this to be the first of many concerts to come.”
“We feel the park is an ideal setting for the Strand of Oaks concert and hope the community will enjoy their performance as well as the park, which has once-again become a center of cultural activity in Downtown Jacksonville. We plan for this to be the first of many concerts to come.”
Looking forward to Jacksonville and hoping for sunshine and 85-degree weather, Showalter also reminisced on the last time he played in Florida and swam in the ocean outside of St. Augustine’s Café 11. Undoubtedly, Strand of Oaks are eager to see the state. Held on March 26, the concert is free to the public and will include food trucks, refreshments and more.