Works Progress Administration plays Telluride, New Release Available (here anyway)
Works Progress Administration just finished their set here in Telluride. They answered my first question right off the bat: their new release is now available. A 12 song self-released (WPA/Umami Records) set simply titled “Works Progress Administration- WPA.” Recorded some months ago, I’ve been trying to find out when it would be out. Turns out this is the second venue at which it’s been available. Not bad, considering that this is only about the third time that all the members of this side-project have assembled under the WPA banner.
They performed a wide-ranging set that reflects the diverse musical backgrounds of the band’s members. From the Watkins’ bluegrass and country influences, to Glen Phillips’ melodic and pop inflected contributions and Benmont Tench’s Heartbreaker past, this band covers some musical turf. The versatility WPA displayed was not lost on the musically intelligent Telluride audience, who seemed to genuinely appreciate being present at the gathering of these musicians.
Sara sang the very appropriate John Hartford tune “Long Hot Summer Day.” It reminded me to put on sunscreen. The pedal steel and two fiddles provided a full, rich backdrop for Glen Phillips’ (formerly of Toad the Wet Sprocket) mellow, introspective lyrics. Benmont Tench sang Bo Diddley’s “Mona.” Sean Watkins took the lead on a couple of numbers, including one from Nickel Creek’s catalog. I hope these folks keep finding the time to continue meeting like this.
Here’s the lineup:
Sara Watkins on violin and vocals, Sean Watkins on acoustic guitar (w/pickups) and vocals, Benmont Tench on keyboard and vocals, Glen Phillips on acoustic, electric guitar and vocals, Luke Bulla on violin, Greg Leisz on pedal steel, Pete Thomas on drums and Sebastian Steinberg on bass instead of Davey Faragher.
Sara, Luke and Glen
Pete Thomas on drums, Luke on fiddle
Benmont Tench, Sean and guest shaker
Glen, Sebastian Steinberg and Sean
Jerry Douglas catches WPA’s set in Telluride