Strand Of Oaks/Felice Brothers @ Cannon’s Blackthorn

Strand Of Oaks/Felice Brothers

Cannon’s Blackthorn

February 7, 2015

(Photo by Casey M. Rosen)

ROCKVILLE CENTRE, NY—On Feb. 7, 2015, Strand Of Oaks, Timothy Showalter’s biography as rock ‘n’ roll band, played to a sold-out audience at Cannon’s Blackthorn in Rockville Centre, NY. Opening with “Heal,” a mid-tempo Tom Petty-esque rocker about youthful pain, Showalter and co. worked their way to the buoyant closer, a cover of The Replacements’ “Alex Chilton.” On their new album, HEAL, the songs are imbued with a lo-fi, somewhat homespun sound, a move made in effort to invoke the ideas of memory and nostalgia present within the lyrics. Live, stripped of such aesthetics, they take on a new life. “Goshen” and “Shut In” benefit particularly well live, as they’re made over into true rock gems, complete with blazing guitars and propulsive drumming.

Much has been made of Showalter’s rock star aspirations, and this is never more evident than in the way he conducts the band. Cobbled together from friends in the Philadelphia area, the touring version of Strand Of Oaks is a precise machine that pulls off the amazing trick of being tight and professional while still creating a space for community and connection, encouraging sing-alongs and offering sincere gratitude in between sets. …

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