Monday, 24 April 2017
Balto - Strangers
Balto don't reside in the territory that I normally display my flag. In this world of choruses and chiming riffs, sometimes you lose sight of what else is around. It isn't all about falling in and out of love.
Portland's Balto are a proper band, a proper American Band. They live in the same street as CSNY, Jackson Browne and Paul Simon or more recently, Wilco and Jonathan Wilson. A proper band that plays proper instruments.
This isn't just laid back West Coast Americana, the guitar solo on Celebration Smile is jaw dropping great. You can imagine Verden Allen playing Hammond Organ on Born Astray. A Year Lasts A Life Time is Jazz and Funk.
One Night Show is laid back Country Rock at it's best. You'd not be surprised to learn that I like it best when it rocks and when it does, it tends to rock gently as on the magnificent opener. Lost On The Young.
Take the last 30 seconds of Shots In The Dark departs from the previous Eagles like groove into a psych fuzz of a solo. Star Of Bethlehem as a Country Folk feel, almost Al Stewart with it's piano lead.
There are a lot of Wilco fans amongst the hipster 30 year olds who would do themselves a massive favour by buying this album. It's mid 70's vibe takes me back to a time when bands were invested in and allowed to take an album as good as this around the world. Strangers is a Storytelling album of the highest quality.
You can listen to and buy the album here.