Strand of Oaks' Timothy Showalter Interviews My Morning Jacket's Carl Broemel About Wished Out

Music Features Carl Broemel
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Strand of Oaks' Timothy Showalter Interviews My Morning Jacket's Carl Broemel About <i>Wished Out</i>

Ever since Strand of Oaks’ Timothy Showalter joined My Morning Jacket on tour back in 2015 following the release of the latter’s Waterfall, there’s always a guaranteed display of fans wearing Jacket T-shirts at every Oaks show. It makes sense—both bands occupy a similar sonic space that emphasizes alt-country/folk-rock and smart lyrics. Even more, they’re friends and sometimes collaborators, citizens of the same musical community. Since My Morning Jacket guitarist Carl Broemel released his third solo record, Wished Out, in September, Showalter has been one of the album’s biggest fans.

We had Showalter prepare some questions for Broemel about Wished Out, the follow-up to 2016’s 4th of July and the musical equivalent of a deep soak: fuzzed out vocals, psychedelic effects and Broemel’s expert guitar grooves stretch on for days. Showalter also recently wrapped a European tour with Jason Molina’s band Magnolia Electric Co., as part of a tribute called Memorial Electric Co. And Broemel kicked off the Wished Out Tour on Tuesday, Oct. 23 in L.A., dates for which you can find at the bottom of this page, and he’ll finish the year out with a three-night run at Philadelphia’s Boot & Saddle as part of Showalter’s annual Winter Classic concert residency.

Showalter and Broemel interviewed each other, but it really sounds like a conversation between old friends who have a lot of catching up to do. Read on for all their chats about touring, making records and what it’s like to play ping pong with Pearl Jam.

This conversation has been edited for length.

Timothy Showalter: Well I guess I’ll start. I’m new to the interviewee—no you’re the interviewee. I’m the interviewer at this junction point. [Laughs.] But I have had the record for a while and the first thing that got me that I really liked is the title, and I probably thought too deep into it but Wished Out is, first I thought “Blissed Out” and I’m like, “Well, no, it’s something different than blissed out.” I might be just looking into it too much but it feels like the perfect summation of living right now in this very fucked-up time. And the title rings more true with every passing Twitter look or just being bombarded. And that idea of, it’s not necessarily a negative title but it’s just an extremely truthful title that is pertinent to just kind of existing in this day and age. It struck me as you know a sign of gracefully aging. And whereas you just have such bright optimistic endless ideas whether you start in your band or music or whatever career you’re in and it’s not resignation, it has something deeper. And it’s hard to title a record. And I think Wished Out is just the perfect title for just the overall essence of what you did.
Carl Broemel: Thanks Tim.

Showalter: It wasn’t a question. It was more of a statement. I think we’re done. [Laughs.]
Broemel: I think you picked up on it. To me it’s like taking the idea, and that’s one of the songs on the record, it’s kind of like taking responsibility for, basically acknowledging the fact that you’ve been not been paying attention really. I feel like wishful thinking is great and romantic thinking is great but at some point when you get knocked on your ass you have to be like, “You know what? I was part of this. It’s not someone else’s fault.” The state of the world is the state of the world and eight years of Obama or whatever, you know I was tuned out like, “We’re all cooking along great, just gonna keep on doing my other shit!” And then we kind of all got our asses handed to us. You have to resist the nature to lash out at other people for our own problems. And if we disagree with the world we gotta do something about it and not blame everybody and not make everybody else an enemy. And that goes globally and in your personal life. It’s kind of part of the idea of the record and some of the songs.

Showalter: And the record, it’s not depressing at all, but I think it’s this arrived sense of understanding. The more I think about it I feel like depression is romanticized too much. It’s really easy to tap into those emotions of heartbreak or disillusionment and it’s harder to tap into just getting through each day because that’s what we have to do. And not every lyric can be The Smiths or Morrissey and just that like, “Oh woe is me,” leaning over a grave and having a wilted rose in your hand. This record feels like, “I get up in the morning, and I observe the world around me.” And it’s extremely peaceful but at the same time there’s always something hiding underneath the surface whether it’s your lyrics or just your vocal presentation. And I just wondered, how did it all start? The process of, and I’ve got a lot of questions when it comes to how you recorded it and everything, but where did the actual genesis of the record begin?
Broemel: I wrote a couple songs two summers ago when I was out playing guitar with Ray LaMontagne in a hotel room. And then I built a little studio in my backyard where we made the record, and I worked out there. And I also took a trip out to Malibu, and I went out and saw Jim [James] and Bo [Koster], just a little personal vacation to see those dudes and then hang out with them and not be on tour, not do anything. And so I went out just by myself to the beach for three nights and stayed in a VRBO looking over the ocean and had my guitar and took some hikes and walked around and then I kind of got really going then. I was off to the races. Then I got home and I kept writing, because once I did that trip I had barfed out all the bad ideas and got to the good stuff. By the time I got home I was kinda pleased with the way things were going. And then I started recording with Tom [Blankenship] and Russ [Pollard] in my backyard. That’s kinda how it got going.

Showalter: And did you think you were starting a record? That’s what I always like to ask my songwriting friends. It’s like yeah, you write a song. People write songs often. But when do you know “This is shaping up to be a record”?
Broemel: I think once you record a couple things that you’re stoked about then you’re making a record. The benefit of having my own space is like no one knows that I’m doing it and I didn’t borrow money from a record label to start so if I decided to abandon it completely, there would be no repercussions. So once I was hanging with Tom Blankenship and Russ Pollard and working with them and they were kinda getting into it and I could see they were getting stoked, that’s when I was like, “Alright, cool, this is gonna come out into the world and gonna be a record and I need to write a couple more.” My last record was only eight songs, and one of them was an instrumental. And this one is eight songs. I kind of ran out of steam.

Showalter: I don’t think it’s running out of steam. I think it gets to the point and it’s a good thing when you listen to a record and you’re kind of shocked that it’s over already. And then you just wanna start it again. And my biggest fear sometimes is you make a record and you’re like, “Oh I’m on track nine? I’ve got two more to go? Let’s call it a day. C’mon!”
Broemel: Yeah, it’s hard to stay focused on records because there are so many to listen to. You don’t have the limitation of only having four cassettes in your Toyota Corolla that you’re just like obsessed with. And I kinda miss that. I’m trying to do that with my listening right now. Like I can’t really get internet working in the studio and on my new laptop I only have a couple records, like the new Yo La Tengo record, so I listen to it all the time. I listen to it over and over and over again.

Showalter: Yeah, I remember not liking the cassettes that I had but eventually I would love them. Like the first or the second E Street Band record had that. Like, “Man I’m not really sure if I like all this, but it’s kind of all I have.” And by the time I listened to it 40 times I fucking loved every second of it.
Broemel: And I love Pink Moon. That’s one of the best records that anyone has ever made, the Nick Drake record.

Showalter: But it feels like I like that I have extremely limited technological abilities. I still have not signed up for Spotify because I can’t do it. I didn’t have a Facebook. So I still am back to the Stone Age when it comes to records, and I have an iPod Nano that’s so crapped and broken I can barely see what I’m scrolling through, and it’s so small I lose it constantly. But whenever I do find it and charge it, you know there’s just my choice records on there. I looked at it when I was preparing for this talk and now I just have three records on there. I have yours, A Moon Shaped Pool by Radiohead and Skeleton Tree, Nick Cave. And that makes this really unique vibe for the three records on my iPod. I’m not of the streaming generation so I like the idea of how tracks play into one another and how cool it is to hear the fuzz cam with “Wished Out,” how that goes into “Malibu [Shadow].” That’s intentional and to take it out of context, it’s not like it takes anything away from the song. It just adds to the songs when you realize the artist is choosing. This isn’t some random playlist. There’s as much spiritual intent in the tracklisting as there is, you know, the order is so important for me. And this flowed so well. And like you said, it’s a short record so by the time you got to “Out of Reach” you were like, “Oh it’s wrapping up!” It’s a very satisfying experience.
Broemel: Thanks brother.

Showalter: Again, not a question, sorry. [Laughs.] I’m terrible at phrasing questions here. A lot of just “Hey, I’m the interviewer. I’m just stating things.”
Broemel: You’re like Terry Gross, man. You’re crushing it right now. [Laughs.] I like hearing what you think. I’m tired of hearing myself.

Showalter: Well so am I. That’s why it’s fun to talk about somebody else for a bit. Another question I had for you—like I think for all my friends who make music, the death of great ideas is how long it takes to have your initial kernel of inspiration and then go through whatever process to finally record it in a studio. And I feel like with you, with your new studio, it’s literally in the backyard—how much did that help when you just have an idea, and you can just begin to complete it instantly?
Broemel: It helped a lot. You know I’ve got a wife and a nine-year-old son. I was trying to record in the basement, and so I’d hear, you know, a calamity upstairs or something, and I’d be like, “Do I need to go upstairs?” Like constantly being interrupted. And so that’s kind of alleviated now. And I can leave everything set up. It can be a total mess out there for months. I can leave mics up and I can have a drum kit ready to go and have an impromptu thing like, “Can you come over tomorrow? I’ve got a new song. Let’s do it.” And I don’t have to really schedule or pay for anything or run it by anyone so it’s like Pee-wee’s Playhouse. It can be anything. I can be an oiler painter out there if I wanted to or whatever. It doesn’t matter. But it’s helped it so much. And I’ve done some other things. Like I produced a record for a band last year, and we did half of it at my house, and it made it really kind of fun and relaxed because the space doesn’t really feel like a studio. There are a lot of windows. A lot of times studios are just dark places. And my place just kind of feels like a guesthouse, like a VRBO. So that’s kind of my vibe. We play ping pong out there, and I have to be done by five or so.

Showalter: I’m never gonna play you in ping pong ever again. I remember that fatal mistake. Was it you and Bo [Koster] who teamed up?
Broemel: Yeah, we had to bother your band because it was part of the initiation process.

Showalter: “Ok, you’re the support band and not only that, but we are going to humble you.” [Laughs.] I arrived with a little bit of confidence and bravado. I can sling some pong. I’m pretty good at it. I think you took about two steps, three steps away from the table and that’s when you know it’s over. It’s just over.
Broemel: We’re just paying it forward because when we toured with Pearl Jam in Europe for a couple weeks, some of those guys were just ruthless. Like, no one was smiling. It was like we wasted their time. The greatest touring partners of all time, like, everyone was super nice. But when it got to the competitive ping pong, they didn’t care who you were. It was like, this is serious. I don’t take it that seriously.

Showalter: I like this kind of passing the torch through ping pong. And never has there been a support band who hasn’t been bested by the headliner. It’s kind of the natural order of things.
Broemel: Exactly, you better let us win.

Showalter: Well I didn’t let you win. I was just confused, overwhelmed, kind of scared. I was like, “Why isn’t Carl smiling?” [Laughs.] “This is scary right now.”
Broemel: That’s right. It’s a bonding experience. We don’t have initiation rights in the culture any more because they’re all tied to bullshit religions that no one believes any more. So ping pong is the new religion, or at least the new initiation rights. Llaughs.]

Showalter: I’m looking over my terrible handwriting notes but I feel like “Malibu Shadow” stood out to me in particular. I just wrote ‘unbelievably beautiful vocal arrangements.’ It’s a unique thing to hear you because we all know the great achievements you’ve done as a guitar god and that’s just fact. But I remember when we were playing together, we were opening for [My Morning Jacket], your harmony singing blends so well with Jim’s that you almost take it for granted of what your voice is doing, and even sometimes when I’m like, “Oh Jim’s in the stratosphere.” You’re floating even further above that with high harmonies, and it just feels so nice to have your voice, just to hear it sing like the lead. And I wonder, you know singing harmonies for that long—I can’t sing harmonies live—but has that helped your idea of what you can do vocally by singing harmony a lot for all these years?
Broemel: Yeah, I’ve always loved singing harmonies. My bands in Indiana, I was like, “Well there’s a chorus coming up. Want me to put something down?” And I think it comes from, when I was a kid, I sang in a church choir for like eight years. So I’m used to singing with a bunch of other people at the same time. It’s just something I’ve always done. So I think that helps a lot. And I think the best thing a kid can do is sing. Like if they’re gonna learn how to be a musician, screw piano and violin and guitar for music first. Just learn to sing and sing with other people and feel the magic of making music with someone else. That’s one of the most special things. I’ll accept your praise because I love you too and I love your music. But the feeling of singing with someone else is what I’m trying to get when I’m layering myself in the studio because no one else is around.

Showalter: I did feel like 4th of July was so massive at the end. There’s a groove and I wrote down in my notes “nothing to prove.” I put that like three times. That’s a high praise compliment. Effortless is a mean word sometimes because that means like, “Did he try or not?” But there is like this effortless groove throughout it that’s not trying to win awards of like, “Look how clever I can be with the groove or look at this riff!” It just feels extremely confident in itself. I’m not gonna speculate you. I love to smoke marijuana. I love it, and it’s a great weed album. Just a perfect weed album. You can ask Sue last time, my wife, because she was just like, “Oh shit, the palo santo’s been lit. Here we go.” But it lends itself to a groove. Where did that come from? Was there any intention of like, this is gonna be a groovin’ record?
Broemel: Yeah, you know after I toured with 4th of July—there’s some mellow songs on there that I love but they’re really hard to play at a club when people are half watching and everyone’s chit-chatting and beer bottles are being smashed in the can and you’re trying to sing your sensitive song. I was just sort of sick of it. I was sort of like, “Well, you know I really wanna make a record. I really wanna go on tour. I’m just gonna try to focus on amping it up a little bit.” Or choosing the songs that lend themselves to being a little more upbeat. That had a lot to do with Tom [Blankenship]. He just is such a subtle groove player.

Showalter: Did he play bass on most of these tracks?
Broemel: He played bass on at least two of the songs. I think he played on two and the rest of it’s me.

Showalter: Really? Oh shit. Well done. Because I love the groove on “Rain Check.” I was listening to it, and I liked songs that aren’t psychedelic for psychedelic’s sake. “Oh wow it’s psychy!” is used way too much now. It’s done. It’s kind of like people covering “Hallelujah.” Like great. Can’t wait to hear another version, or I can’t wait to hear a new psych band. But there was something about songs like “Rain Check.” On my notes I wrote “Wizard scientist.” I think that’s what you remind me of. And then don’t you mention wizard on “Starting from Scratch?” “I disappear like a wizard in a puff of smoke”? I like that.
Broemel: Yeah, isn’t that fun? It felt like that when I drove through the clouds in Malibu. I was gonna take a hike on a cloudy day and I drove up through it and I was just all alone like, ‘Wow.’ It was the best.

Showalter: I’ve written a lot of songs at the beach. I don’t know why. There is something extremely cleansing about the beach. And it’s kind of endless in a sense. You kind of lose track whether you’re happy or sad, and you’re kind of hypnotized by it. And I feel that in this record. Even if you have an intention of motion, it gets kind of swallowed by the ether of everything. And afterwards it kind of gets filtered to something a lot less impulsive and more just like, “Oh that’s just existing” again.
Broemel: The beach is ancient. Or if you walk in the Muir Woods or something like that. I talk about, “All I want is a walk in the woods.” When I was walking in Muir Woods, I would go a bunch when Jacket was out there recording. I would just go by myself.

Showalter: I just imagine the trees being like, “Oh you’re working on your little record.” It just kind of puts you in your place. Like, “You’re a musician, great. Here’s another musician walking through the forest. I remember when Jackson Browne was here a few years ago. I remember that Napoleon guy.”
Broemel: Exactly. It makes you feel smaller but it gives you this nice poignant thing where you get to be romantic about being out on the beach by yourself but at the same time, it sort of won’t let you go too far. No, unless you go in during the winter, which I did once. I don’t recommend it. Polar bear.

Showalter: Exactly, but it really sums up the idea of why this record feels so good to listen to because it’s not telling you to think anything. It’s extremely inviting. And I think a lot of that starts with your voice and just how it’s not any acrobatics. It’s very like…I’m trying to find the words for it. This is when the interviewer should figure out words better. [Laughs.] It’s very soothing, but it’s never boring when I hear your voice. Put the question mark in there.
Broemel: Is your voice soothing, or boring? [Laughs.] I like singing. I like being the frontman, but it’s hard. I was realizing that on this tour. I’m like, “Man, I gotta sing good for 90 minutes?” Like be in tune and play guitar and pay attention to everyone else? It’s almost like once you start singing you forget everything else that’s happening and you just dive into your mind and you could be in total hell the whole time. But if I’m just up there playing guitar and occasionally singing background vocals, I’m just like in enjoyment zone all the time. So another skill, to try to like, “Well, that note sucked. I gotta keep going.” There’s way more times you could buck it up. So that’s been interesting to sing. The hardest thing for me on tour is, like, talking. Like, “How’s it going everybody?” I’m imagining myself in the audience being like, “Shut up, dude. Just play guitar.”

Showalter: I’m a fan of the longer the better. But have there been any songs that have like over the course of touring increased and increased into something completely different?
Broemel: Yeah, the songs just inevitably get longer. Like “Wished Out” is longer. “Out of Reach” gets longer. “Rain Check” is longer. “4th of July” is getting really long now.

Showalter: I figured. That’s gonna hit the 20-minute mark soon it feels like because already on the record—what’s the track like on the record? It feels very long on the record.
Broemel: 11 or something. It’s getting to 17. We’ll insert a song in the middle of it or whatever. Yeah, that old trick.

Showalter: I just did this [Memorial Electric Co.] tour. I just got back from it and it was the first time where I didn’t sing. I could be in that other position where someone else may have come up and guested on vocals and we’d have like different people come up and sing in just certain songs.
Broemel: How many shows did you guys just do?

Showalter: We were gone for like two and a half weeks. It was heavy, but we had a blast. And it’s funny talking to you because I realized at one point the band, everybody but one person was in Indiana. We were just all Indiana people, which is maybe the most Indiana people that have ever been in a band before in Europe traveling. It was fantastic.
Broemel: And is the tour over for the moment?

Showalter: It’s open ended. We have the opportunity because I think Jason Molina’s songs are…they’re well-known everywhere but there was a reverence in Europe and kind of a long history for his stuff there. I wanna do it in America because I have so many friends across the country that I would like to bring up on stage and sing and play to do like strategic, to do like Nashville and have you and Isbell and other people come up and…
Broemel: What you should do is do it in Newport.

Showalter: Oh yeah, that’s what we were thinking because his whole world…I Imagine a lot of people playing that festival are connected to his songs.
Broemel: Mike from Hiss Golden Messenger did kind of a similar thing, right, at one point?

Showalter: Down in North Carolina I think? Yeah, Newport turned into like where all my friends go. Like wow—it’s like a really cheap date with all my friends. I don’t have to travel a lot. Like they’re all at this one place.
Broemel: Yeah, then you can go to the Deer Tick party and walk to the back stage and you’re like, ‘Well the entire city of Nashville is here.’

Showalter: Exactly [laughs.]
Broemel: So bizarre.

Showalter: Well I’ll never forget like the last time we did, the only time I did Newport was the day I’ll never forget the rest of my life where I showed up and we did our set and I don’t know if it was before or after and then I either saw you or Jim [James] and I was like, ‘Oh, woah! What are you guys doing here?’ And then I saw Patrick. And then I saw Roger Waters. I was like, ‘What is happening?’ [Laughs.] My brain is currently melting. And you know I started putting the pieces together and then you know I stood. I was like on the loft or whatever you call it on the side stage where you can kinda stand and look down on the main stage and just it was, having the time of my life.
Broemel: Yeah, Newport, it feels so special now. It’s like because there isn’t a lot of money to bring large artists into Newport most people that go do it just kind of because they want to be there, and I think that is like a really fun…it just sort of sets the tone for it.

Showalter: And the fact that things like you, Jacket, will back up Roger Waters, that’s pretty great evidence of how great of a festival it is and not even…it wasn’t announced. How does it work? Because I didn’t know it was happening.
Broemel: It wasn’t announced. This festival could never get larger as far as the attendance because it just is what it is as far as it can never get too big where you can’t enjoy yourself when you come. The fact that it even occurred to us, “Oh man maybe Newport would be really great. I wanna go.” You know we were all goofing around. And it’s not because we’re like, “Oh, it’ll save our tour budget.” It’s like, “No, because we’ll all be there.” And if not there, somewhere else.

Showalter: Yeah, and I like that idea of it’s healthy for me to not be Strand of Oaks for a while. Like I realized I’ve just been Strand of Oaks for many many years and it was just so refreshing to be in this position where I was like, I’m in a band and it’s not weird because I’ve always been in bands but it was the first time I just felt like, “I’m just in a band now. And this is fantastic.” Because the kind of Neil Young, kind of archetype that I use of like having different bands, it’s kind of lonely after a while of being this like rambling singer/songwriter that collects great musicians along the way. And it was the first time I’ve ever done it and I’m pretty addicted to it now. I wanna start another band.
Broemel: It’s so cool when you can do other things that inform your “main job.” You know, you get humbled or you do something or you just meet some other people that get you all stoked. For someone who hasn’t toured as much as you and is just like loving every minute of it and maybe have a tendency to be like, “Oh, I’m so tired this is horrible.” And you’re like, “You know what? It’s not. It’s fine. It’s fun. It’s fucking great to get to play music.” It sounds like you guys had fun in Europe, but it’s kind of hard to have fun.

Showalter: We laughed a lot in Europe.
Broemel: Yeah, that’s amazing, if you get to go to Europe at all, you know, in any way. You get to go play music and hang out and to keep the legacy of your friend alive. Those songs, that music was special to all of us and that’s great. You guys do that so you can really enjoy your other things fully.

Showalter: There’s things that are good for your soul. It’s totally unrelated but I love the Grateful Dead. I just love them and I was talking to Chris Swanson, who runs Secretly Canadian, and he’s a DeadHead too, and he said, “Man, when music is your job, the Grateful Dead is your vacation.” And I was like god that’s so good. I feel the same way to have records that can take you away and again going back, trying to cycle back, but I think Wished Out is that. And I also think it gets me really excited because I feel like this opened a lot of doors to where future Carl Broemel records are gonna go. And now with the studio it must be exciting to think like, “Oh, what can I do next?” If you have ideas you can just get them done.
Broemel: Yeah, I am excited like even doing this last tour I was like, “I don’t how much more of this deal, or less of this deal.” And I’m excited that I kind of got to get these songs out of my system. You know we talked about what it feels like. Like I have to get it off of my chest. Then there’s room for other things. Because I do love life and I do love music and I’m excited and I like to dance and I like to rock out. I’m like, “Hmm, what am I gonna do next?” I don’t know. I’m gonna get out there and try to amp it up even more if I can or rope in more friends to help me with it.

Showalter: I view your progression as a solo artist of like…every record is trying to achieve something bigger and greater than the last. And there’s no like settling factor that’s happening. And it must be exciting to think like, “Well, I got to this place in ‘Rain Check’ or ‘Second Fiddle’ or whatever. Where can I go?’ You’re kind of setting up these formulas that get me really excited. I just want everybody to make a Pink Floyd record—that’s kind of where I’m going with this. Like, “Please let the next Carl record be a double album.” [Laughs.] Part one, part two, part three. It’s in Latin or something like that.
Broemel: A concept album. Kind of like Rush. I watched the Rush documentary, and they were on that trajectory where they kept getting more and more conceptual. And then they finally bailed on their concept and made like an incredible pop record, that Moving Pictures record. They were conceptual as hell, but they had to get through all that other shit to get to that point where they made like their masterpiece.

Showalter: I love it. And then like, I don’t know what your plans are, but do you feel a freedom now? Because this almost institution of record cycles, I guess it’s necessary but for you now, you could technically make as many records as you want in the future and not really be restricted by that.
Broemel: Yeah, my plan is to just do exactly what I did: start working on something with no one knowing about it and then to see where it goes. So I started working on some new songs. It’s hard to write once you get…that’s one of the downsides of like putting it out, is that you get so distracted with doing interviews or like doing an email response to something or ordering more vinyl that you stop writing. The worst thing you can do for your writing is put out a record, in a way.

Showalter: Yeah, and tour. [Laughs.]
Broemel: Oh man I’m stoked about the Winter Classic. Can we talk about that?

Showalter: Yeah, let’s talk about it. It’s the fourth year and we stepped up our game. I didn’t realize you’re gonna be there all three nights. That’s amazing.
Broemel: Do you want me there all three nights? [Laughs.]

Showalter: Yes! Or you could take a night off and go hit the town.

CB: So the Winter Classic is basically your holiday show party in Philly at the Boot & Saddle. I don’t think everyone knows what that is.

Showalter: It started on a whim. And then I’ve been touring as a band and loud. I was like, ‘I wanna play solo.’ And it’s just an amazing space in Philly. It’s like the best small listening room I could imagine and it sounds good and it’s really dimly lit and the bar feels amazing around Christmas time so it has just the greatest vibe. And after the first year we were like, “Maybe we’ll do it next year” and then we did it a third year. This is the fourth year. But we’ve always had different people come but I was just like, I’m just gonna be a complete bold presumptuous asshole and ask Carl and my friend Joe Pugg, who’s an amazing songwriter, “Would you wanna just do this with me?” So it’s an excuse that we could all hang out for a couple of days and just make music together. I have no idea how it’s gonna go and I like that. I was worried for Strand of Oaks fans, they are not gonna be into me being quiet. And it turns out they are, especially in Philadelphia where it’s my favorite crowd. It’s like hometown crowd for me and it’s such a natural combination to have you up there because after we did our tours with My Morning Jacket, inevitably every Oaks show since then I can count on like 20 Jacket shirts. It’s such a family that kind of welcomed Oaks into the world into their kind of scene that I just. I’ve already seen people just can’t believe you’re gonna be there. And I don’t think you get Philly on your tour?
Broemel: No. I didn’t have a Philly date so I was like this is perfect. And I love playing quiet too. There’s been a couple shows on the tour that have been like kind of listening room vibes, and it’s so fun. It’s like once everybody knows everyone’s gonna put their phone away. That changes the whole show. Boot & Saddle looks like a dark club but it does have those double doors, so once you walk in, it’s quiet in that room. That’s the vibe. You can go out and have a drink or whatever and come back. I think it’s pretty special. People want an intimate thing. They wanna hear the lyrics that sometimes you can’t really make out unless you know the songs really well at a big show with a bunch of guitars and the snare drum and the microphone on. You know I’ve been on tour for so long I’m like that’s the last thing I wanna be next to is a snare drum with a microphone on it. There’s just so much else to do…Man I’m looking forward to it.

Showalter: Yeah, it’s gonna be great, and I hopefully I did a good job doing this interview. I’d never interviewed someone before so I was a little nervous. But I think it went ok.
Broemel: You did great. You’re my friend.

Showalter: You’re my friend too, Carl.
Broemel: See you soon.

Carl Broemel Tour Dates

24 – San Francisco, Cafli. @ Great American Music Hall
25 – Chico, Calif. @ Sierra Nevada Tap Room
27 – Portland, Ore. @ Dantes
29 – Salt Lake City, Utah @ The State Room
30 – Aspen, Colo. @ Belly Up Aspen
31 – Denver, Colo. @ Bluebird Theater

02 – Kansas City, Mo. @ Knuckleheads
03 – Omaha, Neb. @ The Waiting Room
05 – Saint Paul, Minn. @ Turf Club
07 – Madison, Wis. @ High Noon Saloon
08 – Indianapolis, Ind. @ The Hi-Fi
09 – Cleveland Heights, Ohio @ Grog Shop
10 – Chicago, Ill. @ Lincoln Hall

06 – Philadelphia, Pa. @ Boot & Saddle
07 – Philadelphia, Pa. @ Boot & Saddle
08 – Philadelphia, Pa. @ Boot & Saddle