Who is Dallton Santos? In 2015 the website, ‘JamTrack Central’, selected over 2000 guitar players from all over world – only 12 reached “ the greatest” status, and among them there was the Brazilian, Dallton Santos! Dalton was registered in 3 categories: fusion, best potential and originality. In 2006 Dalton recorded his first album ‘Art in Motion’, after having started out at twelve years old on an acoustic guitar which belonged to his father. Influenced by Van Halen, Jimi Hendrix, Yes, Jeff Beck, Pat Metheny, Led Zeppelin, among others, Dallton Santos made the Brazilian ‘Guitar Player Magazine’ by the time he was 18.
In 2007 Dallton was chosen among the 12 best Brazilian guitar players in a Gibson guitar contest. By 2009 he as referencing players such as Frank Zappa, Hermeto Pascoal, Herbie Hancock, Egberto Gismonti, Michael Brecker and Arnold Schoenberg. In 2011 he released the critically acclaimed album, ‘Virtual Fusion’, which grabbed media and industry attention. Since then he has gone on to recieve a plethora of awards and accolades while maturing his artistry.
Which brings us to 2015 and the Santo Andre-born guitarist’s latest release – the 7-track album entitled “The Inner Things”. Tone, purposeful melodies and excellent musicianship make this album a must have. This is coming from someone who has played guitar for more than 2 decades. What Dallton has been doing lately is great, memorable songs and what feels as a higher maturity level as a musician is the only way I can explain it. I mean that as a compliment, he was always a great musician, and the accolades prove that, but now, as a listener, I feel like Dallton lets the song itself come out, as opposed to putting his chops in- something that a lesser musician would be more likely to do.
With an intricate, yet distinctive style, every song on “The Inner Things” is impressive and unique, with dynamic and powerful solos, themes, and harmonic chains that one gets to appreciate more with every replay of the album. It is as if there are hidden gems that you will keep discovering as you let yourself immerse into Dallton Santos’ music and enjoy his superlative talent. This album gives you tremendous energy while the band sounds killer, rocking between progressive and fusion arrangements.
One persistent criticism of pure guitar player albums, is that it’s usually all brilliant technique but somewhat lacking in the solid melody department. Not so with “The Inner Things”, where Dallton has beautifully blended the two and then added fascinating rhythms and razor sharp riffs which blast relentlessly, backed by a superbly tight band. “The Inner Things” barely gives you time to catch your breath from the time “Sensory Input” starts all the way up to “Nikitless”. There are great songs one after another from “Visions”, “Deep”, “Mind Control” and “Acquired Impression”, to “Outside the System”.
So much emotion flows through Dallton’s guitar that words cannot express and that’s why his guitar does it for him. As an avid fan of melodic yet technically masterful guitar playing, I always have high expectations for a new album of this kind. Yet even with that high expectation, “The Inner Things” blows me away. The guitar work ranges from fast and furious, to slow and moving, with everything in between. Dallton Santos will make you want to get up and applaud, and will move you on an emotional level, as the music connects with something inside you. If you have never heard of him before, buy this album and discover what you are missing.