Coley O’Toole and Joe Ballaro started their first band in the 7th grade in Shelton, Connecticut. They honed their skills as musicians, vocalists and songwriters by playing together daily.
Coley met Zac Clark over a decade later, when Zac moved into a river house on the banks of the Housatonic with Joe. The three toured as The Queen Killing Kings.
In early 2011, the three journeyed to Silverlake, California where Simon Katz (Youngblood Hawke) and Christian Letts (Edward Sharpe) awaited their arrival at the Effie House- a home equipped with, among other items, several recording consoles, a Steinway baby grand, two dozen guitars, a Hammond organ, and a ghost.
The band brought more than 30 songs, out of which one was chosen each day to arrange, record and mix. The 9 songs that comprise the band’s debut self titled LP, “Smoke Signals,” were recorded live, in the living room, in the span of 9 days.
These songs are a return to the blue-collar landscape of the band’s hometown. They are honest, warm and timeless.
Blues and bluegrass infused songs with stick-to-your-ribs melodies and high harmonies, Smoke Signals debut LP, released 8/8/11, will hopefully inspire you to smile and sing along.
Smoke Signals is Coley O’Toole, Joe Ballaro and Zac Clark.