The roots of Portland rock outfit Balto can be traced back to, of all places, Siberia. Following a failed journalism gig in Moscow, Dan Sheron set out by train on a soul-searching journey through Russia's vast northern province, emerging from his travels with a set of poignant and gutsy songs that would, in 2011, become October's Road, the debut album by his recently launched project Balto.
Initially more of an acoustic solo venture accompanied by a loose collection of friends in New York, Balto's first expansion came when Sheron relocated to Portland, Oregon in 2012. His next release, the Monuments EP, added more instrumentation to his rootsy mix, though it still remained largely a solo vehicle. Over the next few years, Sheron slowly transformed himself from troubadour to bandleader, building a new foundation with a close-knit group of musicians on 2015's three-song single, Call It by Its Name, which reintroduced Balto as a soulful rock quartet. A pair of new singles, "CA LUV" and "Born Astray," arrived in 2016, released in advance of Balto's second LP and first as a full band, 2017's Strangers. ~ Timothy Monger, Rovi