Material: After an 18-year hiatus, Walter Salsas-Humara has returned with his third effort, Curve and Shake. Best known as frontman of the Silos—who were once named best new American band by Rolling Stone’s critics in the late ‘80s-. Salsas-Humara’s style organically blends rock, alternative rock and country into a cohesive unit while making it entirely his own. Splitting the performance between songs from the new release and some mainstays (where he was joined by the Silos), Salas-Humara manages to cycle through a good cross-section of material.
Second up in the set is the title track, a candid look at chancing a relationship 30 years in the making, poignantly stated in the song’s chorus: “I’m taking this gift, taking this gamble. Riding the chair lift up the steepest angle.” In “Satellite,” a straight-ahead and infectious rock song, the chorus is in the form of a call and response with the tag line “like a satellite” sung and echoed with backup vocals.
Musicianship: His voice is Dylan-esque, dancing slightly around the pitch, not due to tuning difficulties but as more of a stylistic choice. He has a raspy quality that is vulnerable and piercing at the same time—call it a tender grittiness if you will. He plays proficient and energized guitar, leaning into chords to get the most out of them.
Performance: A mix of fans and stragglers left over from the previous show made up the audience and to his credit, Salas-Humara managed to reel in the latter pretty quickly and soon had the room’s undivided attention. His delivery was direct, sincere and devoid of pretention, which was his ace in the hole. He didn’t have much between-song banter and often it’s the artists with the most to say musically that you long to know more about.
Summary: Walter Salas-Humara is a seasoned performer and a consistent and dependable songwriter. More interaction with his audience would be icing on an already tasty cake, however; despite his deceptively laid-back persona, he delivers a solid performance with striking imagery and strong musical choices. – Ellen Woloshin
Bowery Electric New York, NY
The Players: Walter Salas-Humara, vocals, guitar; guest artists, the Silos: Rod Hohl, guitar, backup vocals; Bruce Martin, keyboards, latin percussion, backup vocals; Pete Galub, bass; Russ Meissner, drums; Jason Victor, guitar.