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Relative interest: Strand of Oaks mastermind’s family history ties him to NM

Tim Showalter didn’t intend to make a record – but it happened.

Tim Showalter is the mastermind behind the outfit Strand of Oaks, which is touring in support of the album “Eraserland.” (Courtesy of Alysse Gafkajen)

In fact, it was being pushed by his friends Carl Broemel, Bo Koster, Patrick Hallahan and Tom Blankenship, all members of My Morning Jacket, who played a crucial role in the making of his recent album, “Eraserland.”

Not to mention that Jason Isbell also jumped on as a featured artist.

“This time, it didn’t deal with me only,” Showalter says. “It was a lesson to be learned about opening up and being receptive to collaboration. That collaboration meant some of the greatest music that I’ve made has come out. It was necessary.”

Showalter makes music under the moniker Strand of Oaks. The songwriter has released seven full-length albums since 2009.

Showalter is used to using the highs and lows of his own life as his source material for music.

Yet after releasing 2017’s “Hard Love,” he found himself spent and falling into depression.

The Philadelphia-based musician decided to go on a pilgrimage to the Jersey Shore.

Around the same time, Broemel messaged Showalter and told him that Koster was almost on a break from the road and he could go in and record his next album. It was produced by Kevin Ratterman and recorded at La La Land Studios in Louisville, Ky.

“Carl gave me a challenge,” he says. “I wrote all the songs in three weeks, and there was more material. I don’t know if they will see the light of day. I’d like to play them more and maybe find a home for them. I had about 20 demos. Patrick heard the title track and told me it was going to be on my record. They helped me get out of my head because it’s where I make these strange rules for myself that mean nothing.”

Showalter will make a stop at The Bridge at Santa Fe Brewing Co. on April 19.

For the past couple of years, he’s made sure that New Mexico is on his tour itineraries.

The reason is to give Showalter a chance to look into his family history.

At the turn of the 1900s, Showalter had family that lived in Las Vegas, N.M.

His grandfather was a rider on the Pony Express, and he wants to learn more about him.

“Last time I performed in Santa Fe, I was able to spend a little bit of the day in Las Vegas, and I could imagine the town in the early 1900s,” he says. “It gave me a chance to reconnect with my family. I hope I’m able to go back there and actually learn more about him.”

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