Photo by Alysse Gafkajen

Strand of Oaks

After almost 20 years in Philadelphia, Tim Showalter needed a change. When his mother-in-law died in a car accident, the Strand of Oaks songwriter and his wife decided to start over in Austin, officially moving here last month.

“I have so many friends down here, people I care deeply for,” he says. “And my wife has a job that allows her to work remotely. We had kind of a rough year personally, with some pretty tragic things happening, so we kind of wanted to start a new life together, get away from some bad memories. We love Philly, but I’m closing in on 40 and I thought we needed to do this now – one of those life moves that happens when a window opens even through tragedy.

“So we wanted to use something that was really sad in our lives and make this move. Her mom would have loved it. It was just the right time.”

The move coincides with Showalter reassessing his career. He nearly walked away from music after 2017 LP Hard Love, but My Morning Jacket’s Carl Broemel convinced him back into the studio. This year’s Eraserland surges with support from MMJ, Jason Isbell, and other friends, bursting behind Showalter’s sincere existential musings.

For his monthlong residency at the Continental Club Gallery, Strand of Oaks rolls solo, but Showalter doesn’t discount some friends joining him onstage.

“My manager Ryan Matteson, who lives down here, said let’s just have fun, and I was like, ‘Oh yeah, that can happen in music still – just having fun,’” he laughs. “Authenticity, that’s what is great about here. Everyone is real as shit and there’s so much energy here. It’s been an up and down year, but man, it’s closing real strong.”

Doug Freeman
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