Next week, Tim Showalter, the burly rock classicist who records as Strand Of Oaks, will release the new album Eraserland. It’s a big swing. Showalter recorded the song with a pretty impressive backing band: All the non-Jim James members of My Morning Jacket. A few weeks ago, he shared “Ruby,” a sparkling reminisce that Showalter called “the happiest song I’ve ever written.” And last night, Showalter played the song on Stephen Colbert’s Late Show. He had all those My Morning Jacket members playing with him. And he had some other big guns, too.
Alongside the MMJ guys in his backing band, Showalter also played with Jason Isbell and Amanda Shires. Isbell and Shires are maybe the two best country-rock songwriters currently working, and they also happen to be married to one another. During last night’s performance, Isbell stayed in the background, playing guitar and taking exactly one triumphant-but-understated guitar solo. Shires, meanwhile, sang and played violin, both of which went a long way toward making the song sound great.
It would be pretty easy to get lost on a stage with all that starpower, but that’s not what happened to Showalter. Showalter has a cool Chewbacca-esque charisma, a well-tended mane, and a cool velvety jacket, and he also wrote a pretty great song. In the performance video, he seems absolutely delighted to be singing this song with these people. And he should be delighted. It’s a cool thing to witness. Watch it below.
Hard to comprehend not only the talent but friendship of the wonderful group of people that joined last night on @colbertlateshow. If you see me smile on the video that’s because I was feeling about as good as I ever have. https://t.co/lG4r6DXTTn
— Timothy Showalter (@Strandofoaks) March 14, 2019
Eraserland is out 3/22 via Dead Oceans.