Hearts of Oak is the songwriting project of Nate Wallace. Born in Nova Scotia, Canada, Nate grew up in the small Down East town of Eastport in Washington County ME. Nate says he was raised around music, with a songwriter father. “He was always playing his tunes, having jams at the house until all hours and covering tunes by John Prine, John Stewart and Stan Rogers." As a teen, Nate headed to San Francisco, and in '98 sifted up to the 45th Parallel of Portland OR. He learned the guitar and started writing songs for The RCMP, a group of songwriter friends. As the songs kept coming, Nate formed Hearts of Oak, a project which continues to evolve.
Hearts of Oak is graced to include Nate's very talented friends.
The first Hearts of Oak album was created in 2007 with contributions from great Portland musicians, including: Andy Sheie of The Mighty Ghosts of Heaven on vocals, banjo and guitar, Joel Meredith of The Meredith Brothers Band on pedal steel guitar and B3 Organ. Marilee Hord (band) on fiddle, Travis "Tater" Harrison of Whiskey Puppy on upright bass and singing harmony, Aaron "Rantz" Pomerantz of Weinland on mandolin, and Keith Richard McCarthy of Drunken Prayer on bass.
Used To It Now, the second Hearts of Oak album, was recorded in 2010, and is expected to release in Spring 2011. Again, instrumentation by Andy Sheie, Joel Meredith, and Merilee Hord. The album includes contributions from new members James Whelan (bass) and Jenni Lynn Nissila (drums) of Palatine Hill. Also appearing was Kati Claborne (Blind Pilot), Morgan Geer (Drunken Prayer), Aaron Pomerantz (Weinland).
Both Hearts of Oak albums were produced and recorded by Ezra Meredith at The Deer Lodge, a unique recording studio in SE Portland. Other solid Americana albums produced at the Deer Lodge over the last few years include Drunken Prayer, Gabe Rozzell, and Drugstore Cowboy.