With the word “collective” bringing images of hippies and the faint scent of patchouli to mind I wouldn’t normally jump on a band that defines themselves as such however if you start tossing around names like Glen Phillips and Sean Watkins I start putting aside preconceptions and take notice. Tell me they just released an album and you’ll get me excited. Well that’s just what’s happened. Works Progress Administration has released WPS. I can’t figure out how to describe Works Progress Administration so I’ll just them do it in their own words:
WPA is an expandable collective, with Luke Bulla (Lyle Lovett), Sean Watkins (Nickel Creek) and Glen Phillips (Toad the Wet Sprocket) at its core.
We will usually appear as a 5 piece (listed as Core Band on the tour page), but whenever possible we will have 7 or 8 people (Expanded Band). All configurations will kick ass.
- Glen Phillips (Toad the Wet Sprocket) – vocals, guitar
- Sean Watkins (Nickel Creek, Fiction Family) – guitar, vocals
- Luke Bulla (Jerry Douglas Band, Lyle Lovett) – fiddle, vocals, guitar
Executive Board Members:
- Sara Watkins (Nickel Creek) – fiddle, vocals
- Benmont Tench (Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers) – piano, organ
- Greg Leisz (Joni Mitchell, Bill Frisell) – pedal steel
- Pete Thomas (Elvis Costello and the Imposters) – drums
- Davey Faragher (Elvis Costello and the Imposters, Cracker) – bass
- Jim Scott (Wilco, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Rolling Stones)
Yeah…so the concept of having an executive board for a band eludes me completely and I don’t even want to try and wrap my head around music made by committee. What I do know is that this album is good. It’s an album that will have a place in my rotation for a long time. It doesn’t come out of the back room and hit you in the head with a baseball bat to get you to take notice. It’s more like the girl next door that you didn’t notice for years and then one day you didn’t remember not noticing her. At least that’s how it happened for me. I shoved it in my rotation at work the day I got it and never paid it much attention. Then one day I noticed I was singing one of the tracks while I was walking to my truck and it hit me: “That’s a damn good album!” So I dug it out of the playlist and gave it a good listen and was amazed. I think that’s the way it had to happen.
I guess the concept of a musical collective isn’t all that far-fetched even for me for instance I used to love Pigface back in the day but something about the way this album is put together is just right. You can tell these are seasoned artists and their chemistry can’t be denied. It’s not my usual whiskey sodden fare for review but it’s a strong album that won’t leave you disappointed. You can pick this one up over at the WPA website and I highly reccommend that you do. Pick it up and just drop it into your random shuffle and you won’t be disappointed. Meanwhile enjoy a couple-a-three tracks off of WPA: