BY LEE ZIMMERMAN
Walter Salas-Humara has never been one to dismiss his past, especially as it applies to his Hispanic heritage. The erstwhile leader of the seminal Americana outfit The Silos even opted to name his new album after the nickname given him by his family, and then went several steps further by singing two of its songs in Spanish — the rousing opening track “El Camino De Oro” and the perky yet persistent “Hecho En Galicia.” Granted, that’s not as bold a move as it might once have been in a more Anglo-fied era, but even in today’s multicultural environment, it still shows a certain propensity for expanding his embrace.
After The Silos went on hiatus 20 or so years ago (the band’s history is complicated, to say the least; in 2011 a revamped lineup headed up by Salas-Humara released an album, also touring behind it, and occasional rumblings continue to be heard about the group), Salas-Humara undertook a solo sojourn that has gained him international recognition all on his own. Indeed, his knack for plying rock steady rhythms with a decidedly personal perspective has helped him carve a niche in today’s roots rock firmament. In that regard, Walterio is one of his most personable and pointedly engaging efforts yet, whether it’s the vulnerable plea of “Should I Wait for Tomorrow” to the rockier resolve of “Out of the Band,” a humorous diatribe about the conflict that often erupts out of the usual group dynamic.
With Silos drummer Konrad Meissner in tow, Salas-Humara frequently summons an unabashed rock ‘n’ roll revelry, and the brash swagger powering songs such as “Here We Go” and the steady, seductive “She’s a Caveman” attest to his ability to follow the form. Consider him a populist rocker of sorts, a musician whose live performances frequently find him freely mingling with his audiences while serving up his songs. “I want to be with you,” he declares, in the ebullient song of the same name, and while it may be a romantic entreaty in theory, it also attests to his populist precepts. Even a cursory listen ensures the feeling will remain mutual.
DOWNLOAD: “Should I Wait for Tomorrow,” “Out of the Band,” “Here We Go”