NEPA Scene Staff

Former Wilkes-Barre musician kicks off Strand of Oaks tour at F.M. Kirby Center on April 10

Former Wilkes-Barre musician kicks off Strand of Oaks tour at F.M. Kirby Center on April 10
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From a press release:

After releasing a new song and music video today, it was announced that folk rock band Strand of Oaks will kick off their North American tour at the F.M. Kirby Center in Wilkes-Barre on Wednesday, April 10 at 7:30 p.m. as part of the venue’s “Chandelier Concert Series,” in partnership with Special Guest App.

Tickets, which are $15 in advance or $20 the day of the show, plus fees, go on sale this Friday, Jan. 18 and will be available at the Sundance Vacations Box Office at the Kirby Center (71 Public Square, Wilkes-Barre), online at kirbycenter.org, and by phone at 570-826-1100. A Kirby Member pre-sale begins Wednesday, Jan. 16 at 10 a.m.

Stand of Oaks was created by Philadelphia musician and former Wilkes-Barre resident Timothy Showalter. Showalter is known locally for his time spent living in Wilkes-Barre and playing shows at venues such as Cafe Metropolis. In fact, he appears in a 2011 documentary about the club’s closing.

The tour will support Strand of Oaks’ newest album, “Eraserland,” which was recorded in 2018 with My Morning Jacket members Carl Broemel (guitar), Patrick Hallahan (drums), Bo Koster (keys), and Tom Blankenship (bass). Americana star Jason Isbell also contributed his Hendrix-esque guitar work to “Eraserland,” while singer/songwriter Emma Ruth Rundle provided gorgeous vocals.

This follow-up to 2017’s “Hard Love,” set to be released on March 22, finds Showalter successfully channeling the full spectrum of sounds within the Strand of Oaks discography, from fast, synthy tracks like “Hyperspace Blues” to epic burner “Visions, the gorgeous ballad “Keys,” and his devastating acoustic performance on “Wild and Willing.”

Isbell’s magnificent shredding is showcased on “Moon Landing,” “Eraserland’s” preeminent off-the-wall groove, while the album’s title track finds Showalter resurrecting his long-dormant alter ego “Pope Killdragon” for a striking, synth-laden duet with Rundle.

“This record wasn’t supposed to be here. I had thought for a moment Strand of Oaks might be over until a text from my friend, Carl Broemel, changed all that. Unbeknownst to me, four members of My Morning Jacket and Kevin Ratterman booked studio time to record songs I didn’t think I’d ever write. But they believed I could and pulled me back from the brink. At last, the songs came – and quickly morphed into everything I’ve ever worked toward as this band,” Showalter said.

“These 10 songs are about existing and continuing on, a testament to the hope that even if we feel like we are disappearing, there is that glimmer of light. You may not come out the same person you started as, but that’s OK. I’m glad this record is here now for whoever chooses to find it. Welcome to ‘Eraserland,’ where we all can start again.”

After kicking off in Wilkes-Barre, the Strand of Oaks tour will hit 19 different states, 24 different markets, and one Canadian province (British Columbia) before coming full circle for a final date in Philadelphia.

“When I was writing these songs, every day I would walk on the beach and I was completely alone and overwhelmed by fear… but then I realized how there really aren’t any rules for who you are, who you’ll become, or who you think you need to be,” he added.

“‘Eraserland’ is just that. It’s death to ego, and rebirth to anything or anyone you want to be.”

See NEPA Scene’s photos of Strand of Oaks performing at the 2017 XPoNential Music Festival in New Jersey here.

Photo by Keith Perks/1120 Studios/NEPA Scene