Be Here Now: Walter Salas-Humara @ the Low Beat Tonight
By Steven Stock
Walter Salas-Humara and his band the Silos popped on the national scene in 1985 with About Her Steps, an understated yet affecting slice of alt-country-rock that foreshadowed the Americana/No Depression movement.
Over the next decade Salas-Humara worked on more fine records than many performers will in a lifetime: five with the Silos, three solo efforts (including his new Curve and Shake) and one with the Setters, a poor man’s super-group that also featured Alejandro Escovedo (ex-Rank and File, True Believers) and the Wild Seeds’ Michael Hall. Not to overlook his auxiliary contribution to three great Vulgar Boatmen discs… Rest assured, when Salas-Humara appears at the Low Beat tonight (Monday, October 6), he’ll have an impressive back catalog to choose from.
Since that initial burst of creativity, Salas-Humara has slowed his pace and widened his palette. A decidedly NYC Velvets/Televison lineage has become more prominent in his songwriting and arrangements, while his always-assured guitar work has become more aggressive and adventurous. A fascinating collaboration with author Jonathan Lethem (I’m Not Jim) pretty much put to rest any attempts to pigeonhole Salas-Humara’s artistry.
His last two Albany appearances were with the Silos at the now-gone-but-not-forgotten Valentine’s Music Hall, most recently on October 15, 2011. This time he’s leaving the band behind in the city, as tonight’s performance at the Low Beat is billed as a solo performance.