Strand Of Oaks
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Timothy Showalter shares some superficial similarities with Sam Beam of Iron & Wine: he works under a three-word moniker, Strand Of Oaks; he works as a teacher when he's not playing delicately strummed confessionals on his acoustic guitar; and, of course, he's generously bearded. But Showalter steps away from the intensely personal songwriting of his 2008 debut, Leave Ruin—which found him grappling with a devastating house fire and romantic breakup—on the new Pope Killdragon. Showalter stills sounds as sensitive as ever but has expanded his range of song topics in often fascinating ways, particularly on "Daniel's Blues," which is about Dan Aykroyd coming to grips with the tragic death of his friend John Belushi. Showalter is practically an honorary member of the Milwaukee music scene; he plays here frequently and toured earlier this year with the great local band Juniper Tar.