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Archive for the ‘Strand of Oaks’ Category

[ATTENDED: December 12, 2019] Strand of Oaks

In 2016, Timothy Showalter played his second Strand of Oaks Winter Classic at Boot and Saddle.  I got a ticket for the third night, not really knowing what to expect.

It turned out to be a fantastic night of music and togetherness.

I missed the next year but went last year to Winter Classic IV.  Which was also great.

There was no way I was going miss Winter Classic V.  This year I went for the first night of the three.

The other two shows had opening acts announced, but there was none announced for my night.

I didn’t think we’d get an extra long show (Tim doesn’t do extra long shows).  Instead we got a cool improv by his partner for the night, Mike “Slo-Mo” Brenner. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: December 12, 2019] Mike “Slo-Mo” Brenner

I was pretty excited to go to the fifth Strand of Oaks Winter Classic (this is my third).  I chose the first night of the series because I was going out on Saturday as well. The other two shows had opening acts announced, but there was none announced for my night.

When I arrived, my friend was there up front (of course) and I managed to get up next to her.  She told me that the opening act was going to be Mike “Slo-Mo” Brenner.  It was apparently decided just before the show started.

Well, Mike “Slo-Mo” Brenner was accompanying Tim Showalter for these shows (it was just the two of them during the Strand of Oaks set).  So, I guess it was decided last minute to let Slo-Mo do a twenty minute improv before the main show. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: June 11, 2019] Baroness

Baroness is, for the most part, the work of John Baizley.  There are others in the band, but there hasn’t really been any consecutive albums with the same lineup.  I first heard of John Baizley on March 10, 2017 when he was brought out as as special guest at a Strand of Oaks concert.

I thought Baizley was great at that show and I really liked his voice.  So I investigated and I discovered the wonder that is the prog metal of Baroness.  Baizley writes beautiful passages and tacks them onto brutally heavy metal.  His voice is a rich baritone and it all works perfectly.  I later found out that all of the art is done by him and that he has crafted some amazing heavy metal covers as well (here’s his art site).

In 2017, Baroness was between albums (their previous one came out in 2015, their new one is coming out in a couple of days).  But I listened to his older records and really liked them a lot.

They have recently toured for this new album, but the two shows they played near me were not ones I wanted to see.  In April they played the Decibel Magazine Metal & Beer Fest which sounded like a terrible thing to go to, quite frankly (even if they were the headliners) –7 bands and all that beer, no thanks.  A few days earlier they were playing Starland Ballroom with Deafheaven.  A double bill I would have liked to see, but I was already seeing Voivod that night.

They announced a tour of the rest of the lands and I was a little bummed.  But then they announced this little acoustic tour to coincide with their new album.  I was planning on getting the album anyway, so to travel to Fords to get that record and to have Baroness play an acoustic show was a no brainer. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: December 7, 2018] Strand of Oaks

In 2016, Timothy Showalter played his second Strand of Oaks Winter Classic at Boot and Saddle.  I had a really great time.  Then I saw him and his full band later the next year at a bigger venue.  I more or less felt that I didn’t need to go to the winter classic again this year.  But thinking of how much fun it was (and the fact that Carl Broemel was opening) was a huge incentive.  Now I’ve been to one night of his second and fourth Winter Classics.

Showalter came up on stage and Broemel came with him.   Showalter is such a warm and gregarious person and you can see that he is genuinely happy to be there.  He was smiling pretty much for the whole show.

Although I like Strand of Oaks newer album Hard Love, I really like the previous album Heal.  So it was pretty awesome that he played the majority of songs from Heal. In fact. the first three songs were from that album

For a few songs Broemel played lead guitar while Showalter played rhythm and sang.  And the two guitarists took the opportunity to do some great jamming together.  Broemel also played pedal steel (which was really cool) for a couple of songs. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: December 7, 2018] Joe Pug

I had no idea who Joe Pug was before this show. In fact, I’ve never heard of him.  So it was quite a surprise to discover that he had Strand of Oaks open for him on a show when Strand of Oaks Pope Killdragon came out.  Since Strand of Oaks has grown in popularity, he was returning the opening slot favor.

Joe Pug sings folks songs and writes string solid lyrics.  His song “Bright Beginnings” was quite lovely.

Of course, the ones I remember best are the funny ones. Like the one he introduces as an opportunity to tell his wife (here he hemmed and hawed about the right way to say this, until someone warned him to be careful).  Finally he revealed that it was a way to tell his wife that he didn’t work in a bank, so money will likely be tight.  It was a delightfully amusing song. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: December 7, 2018] Carl Broemel

In 2016, I went to see the second Strand of Oaks Winter Classic at Boot and Saddle.  It was a wonderful night  I wasn’t even that big of a Strand of Oaks fan–I liked the latest album, but that’s all I knew.  The show was terrific and the whole night had a wonderful feeling of warmth and kindness.  Timothy Showalter is a super nice guy and very grateful for his success.

I didn’t think I needed to go again this year, but then I saw that one of the opening acts was Carl Broemel, guitarist for My Morning Jacket.  MMJ have been on my “must see again” list, but they haven’t played anywhere near us for a while.  So this seemed like the next best thing.

I was running late that night and assumed that Joe Pug was the first opener (from the way it was listed).  But when I got there I discovered that Carl was up first and had started already!  Gadzooks. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: March 10, 2017] Strand of Oaks

Back in December I saw Strand of Oaks at Boot and Saddle.  It was just Tim Showalter and Jason Anderson and they were great.  It was very intimate, it was the third night of a three night stint and everyone was loose and having fun.

At the show, they were selling tickets this March appearance at Union Transfer–which was going to be the whole band.  So I decided to get a ticket that night, for a good comparison.

While waiting for the band to come on, I wound up talking to a bunch of people who were huge fans.  I found out that his previous keyboardist was Eliza Hardy Jones who has since gone solo rather successfully–she was evidently at XPNFest last year, when we were there.  One lady told me that the last time she saw Strand of Oaks, Showalter stage dove right where she was standing (which is where I was standing).  The guy she was with said that last time he saw them, they opened with “Cinnamon Girl,” and they talked about how this was a hometown show and he would go all out–especially since the venue was far more filled than the previous time. (more…)

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