R.E.M., Jason and the Scorchers, the Blasters, Los Lobos -- these are '80s bands commonly cited as being among the forefathers of today's Americana scene. One group that was just as significant but often -- and unjustly -- overlooked is the Silos. During the mid-to-late '80s, they released several excellent albums (seek out Cuba, now back in print), including their major-label debut/swan song, which seemingly went straight to the cut-out bins.
Since then, Silos founder Walter Salas-Humara has soldiered on, putting out a number of fine discs. Last year's When the Telephone Rings (on Dualtone) stands as their strongest since the early days. It's a bracing set of rootsy rock. Salas-Humara's songs maintain a sense of hope, despite acknowledging that life rarely plays fair. The current Silos lineup -- featuring bassist/lap-steel player Drew Glackin and percussionist Konrad Meissner -- has been together for several years. They're a confident, road-tested trio that can rev up a crowd with driving rockers as well as move them on the quieter, introspective numbers. Headlining the show is Steve Wynn, a fellow '80s cult figure and former Dream Syndicate frontman, who has gone on to a vital solo career. Salas-Humara and Wynn are survivors still making music that matters.
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