Few balladeers bring you inside their personal turmoil with as much grace as Timothy Showalter, the trembling voice behind Strand of Oaks. The Philadelphia folkie made a fine first impression with debut "Leave Ruin," an acoustic-led chronicle of rising from miserable circumstances and moving on to what's next.

Few balladeers bring you inside their personal turmoil with as much grace as Timothy Showalter, the trembling voice behind Strand of Oaks. The Philadelphia folkie made a fine first impression with debut "Leave Ruin," an acoustic-led chronicle of rising from miserable circumstances and moving on to what's next.

Having exorcised those ghosts, Showalter upped his game with last year's "Pope Killdragon," applying his top-notch arrangement and storytelling skills in ways that enliven and eradicate the sensitive singer-songwriter template. Who besides Showalter would segue from whispery strums into outright doom metal or write a heartrending lament from the perspective of Dan Aykroyd grieving John Belushi?

Joe Pug headlines Tuesday's show at Rumba. Dolfish opens it.