Continuing yesterday's theme of appreciating the world around you, going back to things you'd overlooked and finally listening to all the damned CDs that litter the floor, I've gotten pretty into Strand of Oaks' 2009 album Leave Ruin. Strand of Oaks is a mournful, Americana-tinged singer-songwriter project, essentially one Timothy Showalter. Showalter, like me, is from Indiana, but unlike me started life as a Mennonite. He has all the plain-spoken virtues, simplicity, sincerity, a willingness to consider small, concrete details and how they fit into a larger picture. You envision him working a song like a craft, carefully, without any hurry and without a lot of messy elaboration either. I'm liking the father-son dynamic of "Lawn Breed Songs" and "Mourning Worker" the best, but it's a very nice, quiet, understated and honest endeavor all the way through.
Showalter did a Daytrotter session in 2010, which includes "Lawn Breed Songs". You can find it here.