Singer, songwriter and guitar player Daniel Sheron started Balto seven years ago in New York. For a short time, Sheron found himself and his project in Russia, but it seems that Balto’s transition to Portland a few years back is what has given the band a new identity and touch.
It is safe to say that Sheron’s songwriting and voice have been a constant strength of the band since its beginning and early releases (including October's Road in 2011 and Monuments in 2012), but it’s been the Portland era of Balto and its new lineup of players (Luke Beckel on guitar and organ, Seth Mower on drums, and Devon Hoffner on bass) that create and capture a sound that offers so many feels and grooves.
“I couldn’t be happier,” Sheron says. “The kind of music that we get to play, in my mind, is the best thing that I could possibly get to spend my days doing.”
The band’s new album Strangers, which was released February 24, represents a beautiful collaboration amongst its current lineup. A clear representation of that are tracks like “Born Astray,” which features Beckel on lead vocals, and “Shots In The Dark,” which shows off the talented rhythm section of Hoffner and Mower. The new record also recalls earlier releases on the closing track “One Night Show,” which is one of the more intimate, tug-at-your-heart-strings jams on the album. Reminiscent of, and containing the fluidity and balance of, albums like Elton John’s Tumbleweed Connection and Bruce Springsteen’s Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J., its ‘60s and ‘70s vibes are proof that rootsy rock and roll is alive and well in Portland!
Shots In The Dark