THE OAKS: Songs that Speak, Stories that Sing

I first wrote about the Oaks last November and thought it was time to turn the dirt so to speak. This group was my biggest and most pleasant surprise of 2006. The Oaks ended up being my dark horse candidate for indie-rock album of the year. Why? (Well read on.) But mainly, these guys are just so unbelievably talented that they capture the do-it-yourself spirit of indie music while taking their musicianship to the next level. Plus, they support charities. All in all. This is one to know and one should own as well.

Meet The Oaks

Every so often a music release appears in my mailbox that gives me pause and makes me listen hard and think about something special - perhaps more important than just songs. That happened again just recently with a very special project called The Oaks. It's an opportunity to hear some tremendous new music and give some attention to worthy causes.

50% of the profits from every album sold will go directly to benefit widows and recently-returned refugees in the mountains of Afghanistan.

At the heart of the project are Matthew Antolick and Ryan Costello - two talented artists who believe in their power to change the world with the deeds and with their music.

Ryan Costello (guitar) and Matthew Antolick (drums) are at the core of the Oaks. With time, new members have been added to the lineup.

The pair met in 1999 while studying at the University of Southern Florida and soon found they shared a passion for music. This common interest led them to share a radio show and later to form a band together. Years apart and distance away (several thousand miles) could not keep the Oaks from coming to be. Here is the story of the band:

The Spirit that Moves them
In 2002 Ryan was accepted into Global Hope Network, an organization that focuses on serving in the most remote places around the world. At the beginning of 2003, Ryan went with GHN to Afghanistan, and came back with an overwhelming passion to move there and serve. He then spent 2003 traveling and speaking to raise awareness of the needs in Afghanistan and learning about teaching creative agriculture.

Ryan helped to start the Hope Center for Agriculture and Nutrition Development where farmer’s families could come and learn creative agricultural techniques and nutrition and hygiene. Matthew stayed in the States, completing a Master's degree in environmental ethics, teaching undergraduate philosophy courses and playing in various projects throughout the Central Florida area. Eventually, Matt began to pursue playing full time, earning enough through playing drums to support his family. Ryan and Matthew kept up email correspondence, exchanging occasional song ideas. When Ryan returned home, he and Matthew began recording the Oaks album in Matthew's living room.

50% of the profits from every album sold will go directly to benefit widows and refugees.


Anonymous said…
Very good band. I must get myself a copy of their album.
Unknown said…
I think that The Oaks are an awesome band. They did some awesome interviews and I think that people should check them out.

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