Strand Of Oaks: Tiny Desk Concert Timothy Showalter's music is filled with bite and sometimes regret, but also a good deal of warmth. Here, he plays three songs from HEAL, performed with just his voice and a guitar.

Tiny Desk

Strand Of Oaks

Strand Of Oaks: Tiny Desk Concert

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/415506185/415537435" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Strand Of Oaks' music is filled with bite and sometimes regret, but also a good deal of warmth. Neil Young is an obvious touchstone when the loud guitar solos kick in, but so is Jason Molina. In fact, the late Ohio singer-songwriter was the subject of the song that became my hook into the music of Strand Of Oaks; it's a song Timothy Showalter sings here at the Tiny Desk that can also be found on his 2014 album HEAL; it's called "JM."

I was an Indiana kid, gettin' no one in my bed

I had your sweet tunes to play

I was staring at the map, feeling fire in my head

I had your sweet tunes to play

I was mean to my dad, 'cause I was mean to myself

I had your sweet tunes to play

Stealing smokes in my car, with the windows way down

I had your sweet tunes to play, your sweet tunes to play

Showalter's words and life experiences — a bad relationship, a house that burned down — suggest a dark, even bitter, undercurrent. But when he drove alone in his van down from Philly and arrived at NPR here in D.C., he popped out after his drive with a warm smile and three guitars, one for each of the songs he'd play. We quickly bonded in the parking garage over our identical buckled Frye boots and love for vintage synthesizers. He turned out to be a sweetheart, and hearing these amazing songs with just him and a guitar was a treat to behold.

Set List

  • "Goshen '97"
  • "Plymouth"
  • "JM"

Credits

Producers: Bob Boilen, Maggie Starbard; Editor: Morgan Walker; Audio Engineer: Brian Jarboe; Videographers: Colin Marshall, Maggie Starbard; Assistant Producer: Rachel Horn; photo by Maggie Starbard/NPR

[+] read more[-] less

More From Tiny Desk

The Calidore String Quartet performs a Tiny Desk Concert on April 5, 2019 (Amr Alfiky/NPR). Amr Alfiky/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Amr Alfiky/NPR

The Calidore String Quartet

The Calidore String Quartet confirms that the centuries-old formula – two violins, a viola and a cello – is still very much alive and evolving.

Theodore performs a Tiny Desk Concert on March 27, 2019 (Amr Alfiky/NPR). Amr Alfiky/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Amr Alfiky/NPR

Theodore

The music of Theodore is dark and transformative, with the kind of spare elegance you can hear in Sigur Rós or Pink Floyd.

Gary Clark Jr. performs a Tiny Desk Concert on April 1, 2019 (Amr Alfiky/NPR). Amr Alfiky/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Amr Alfiky/NPR

Gary Clark Jr.

These three songs, from Clark's incendiary new album This Land, roar with the assurance and force of a showman at the top of his game.

Karine Polwart Trio performs a Tiny Desk Concert on March 22, 2019 (Amr Alfiky/NPR). Amr Alfiky/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Amr Alfiky/NPR

Karine Polwart Trio

Scottish singer, songwriter and essayist Karine Polwart seldom comes stateside, eschewing air travel to reduce her carbon footprint. But on a rare, recent visit, she stopped in D.C. for a Tiny Desk.

Georgia Anne Muldrow performs a Tiny Desk Concert on Feb. 26, 2019 (Amr Alfiky/NPR). Amr Alfiky/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Amr Alfiky/NPR

Georgia Anne Muldrow

The R&B singer from Los Angeles is all about showing and spreading love.

Courtney Marie Andrews performs a Tiny Desk Concert on Feb. 2, 2019 (NPR). NPR hide caption

toggle caption NPR

Courtney Marie Andrews

It was a day when sunlight drenched the office and the songs of heart from Courtney Marie Andrews felt right at home.

Weezer performs a Tiny Desk Concert on Feb. 27, 2019 (Amr Alfiky/NPR). Amr Alfiky/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Amr Alfiky/NPR

Weezer

Performing unplugged, the band forgoes its usual meticulousness in favor of a shaggy, entirely acoustic mix of new songs and '90s-era deep cuts.

Andrea Cruz performs a Tiny Desk Concert on Feb. 4, 2019 (Claire Harbage/NPR). Claire Harbage/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Claire Harbage/NPR

Andrea Cruz

The singer from Puerto Rico is part of a movement on the island that emphasizes largely acoustic instruments and a folk-based approach to interpreting life before and after the hurricane of 2017.

&More performs a Tiny Desk Concert on March 4, 2019 (Amr Alfiky/NPR). Amr Alfiky/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Amr Alfiky/NPR

&More (Chill Moody & Donn T)

Philadelphia Rapper Chill Moody and singer Donn T, along with their crew known as &More, were one of the standout entrants in last year's Tiny Desk Contest. They bring a message of hope and love.

Back To Top