Strand of Oaks is Timothy Showalter, an Indiana Mennonite turned Pennsylvania Hebrew Dayschool teacher who even drives the school bus for extra cash (and has sing-alongs with the pupils as they ease on down the road). It's like a scene from "Behind the Music" if the weed-soaked Tom Petty was your busdriver, and in this case the metaphors, spread throughout nine tracks, are to be taken quite literally.
Leave Ruin is Strand of Oaks' hometown deathbed-confession hymnal, the soundtrack of an Exodus. It's been back roads and parenthetical side streets for Showalter since he left his ruin of small town America. As a Hoosier transplant, he landed in the fertile musical soil of Northeastern Pennsylvania with a few key twists of fate that would turn his tragedy into trajectory.
Taking cues from such luminaries as Neil Young (On the Beach era) and a burgeoning Springsteen, Showalter extends his musical gesture and searches to find modesty in the midst of confusion, addressing insecurities and settling existential debt with a simple and beautiful delivery. The personification of a Midwestern Grandfather's advice, his songs smack with hard truth and poignant severity, from child-like naivete to heart worn wisdom... sparse guitar, hammond, rhodes and wooden instruments support an atmosphere that is tender and raw, at times uncomfortable, shockingly candid, and unforgettable.