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Originally formed in 1984 to perform singer/songwriter/guitarist Jeff Davis' songs, the L.A.-based Balancing Act was built around acoustic guitars, distinctive harmonies, intelligent, quirky songs, and an assorted array of instruments such as melodica, recorder, and even a shortwave radio. Even though the band forged its sound around acoustic-based songs, don't look for a typical folk-rock, singer/songwriter affair. Davis, along with guitarist Willie Aron, bassist Steve Wagner, and percussionist Robert Blackmon, employed touches of atonality and rhythmic twists, along with the songcraft that was at the heart of all their records. They also chose, in the studio and on-stage, to reach outside the realms of the acoustic world for material by the likes of Captain Beefheart, Funkadelic, and Public Image Ltd.
The band, which by the time of the first record featured songs by Wagner and Aron as well as Davis, released an EP (originally in 1986 on their own Type A label) and two full-length records between 1987 and 1988 for I.R.S. (the first two on its Primitive Man Recording Company subsidiary). The Balancing Act, despite showing growth with each recording, failed to make any waves commercially and disbanded after their third album, Curtains, which found the band at the top of its game.