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Third Gear Scratch

Jun 26, 2024

In 2021, in full pandemic tilt, Timothy Showalter aka Strand Of Oaks, released a brilliant  record in the vein of much of his stratospheric catalog called In Heaven (Dead Oceans) but decided not to tour on it, because that's what you didn't do during those heavy days; tour. Instead, he shut it all down. Stopped strumming and humming and stopped checking his emails and all other things that create anxiety for an artist who's been busting his ass for most of 20 years and who's making quite a dent in the music world with his intoxicating mix of Neil Youngian based songs and stories. There's always been an astral leaning, psychedelic connection to Strand of Oaks music, but for that moment it needed to cease, and all Tim Showalter wanted to do was paint. Not to mention, he was asked to join the cast of Mayans MC for 2 seasons, working with Edward James Olmos, something he'd never considered a possibility. The painting and acting paused, and the music started again. But this time he wasn't drawn to his guitar and the usual Youngian template. Instead he headed to his synthesizers and his long time engineer/producer/collaborator Kevin Ratterman (Elliot, Twin Limb) and rebirthed his muse in a different form, albeit one that continues to radiate what Tim does instinctively, move the listener. His new album Miracle Focus, is a fresh start and reflects his DIY ethic completely. It's still 100% Strand Of Oaks, long time fans will be relieved to know, but uses instruments that inspired him for this round of songs after the time off. Songs that give back what he's been living, Transendental Meditation, Yoga, Ram Dass and the feeling of joy that each moment creates, passes and recreates again infinitely.