For years, Walter Salas-Humara has split his time between making music and visual art, so it's not surprising that Walterio, his new release on Rhyme & Reason Records, contains rich imagery – both lyrically and on its cover. But one of the strongest images it evokes actually comes from the music itself, which might be described as the sonic equivalent of a tree – a rock 'n' roll family tree. Salas-Humara was made in Cuba, too, but born in America. (The album's title is his Hispanic nickname.) He spent a good chunk of his Florida childhood studying drums, which, of course, led to teenage rock 'n' roll bands.
Tracks such as "Here We Go," "She's a Caveman" and "Out of the Band" can trace lineage back to the Silos, the still-kicking band Salas-Humara co-founded in New York's post-punk '80s scene. Playing alt-country before anyone called it that, they were named Best New Artist in the 1987 Rolling Stone Critics Poll – which temporarily deep-sixed Salas-Humara's art-career plans. As for beginning again, Salas-Humara says he never imagined he'd sign another record deal at this stage of his career. He was shocked – and pleased – when he was approached in 2017 by a co-founder of Rhyme & Reasons. He's hoping he can add to their success – and his own – with Walterio.