The Oaks

Album Title: Our Fathers and the Things They Left Behind
Release Date: 2006
Genre: Singer-Songwriter
Having spent 2 years in the mountains of Afghanistan with recently returned refugees, you know band members Ryan Costello and Matthew Antolick have a provoking story to tell. The CD opens like the start of a listening journey with a prologue instrumental of delicate guitars driven to the true life story of Hugh Thompson who rescued Vietnamese civilians in the midst of orders being
executed by US Soldiers who were ordered by their Sergeant to fire
on the villagers in the My Lai Massacre in 1968. Everything is stated very matter-of-factly and thoughtfully, the song draws you into what must have been Hugh's world before everything happened. The Oaks are great at capturing the narrative of the moment in songwriting and this comes across in this track. They stay true to the lyrics, with the vocals being an afterthought, on thoughtful questions and illustration. Also brilliant is the beginning of track 5 where the listener is transported to the Afghan landscape through natural sounds of Afghan families going about their business, moving about the mountains, and conversing.

Another cool thing is that half of the profits from the sale of each CD are going to Global Hope Network to aid widows and refugees in Afghanistan. So overall, a good reflector record for those interested in seeing how other cultures, though different from our own, can so move us into loving the people as if they were under our very roof as family.

Writer: Lindsay Whitfield

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