Elite Artist Services, a division of Disc Makers, is proud to announce the recent signing of Works Progress Administration! New album releasing September 15, 2009.
- Glen Phillips (Toad the Wet Sprocket) – vocals, guitar
- Sean Watkins (Nickel Creek, Fiction Family) – guitar, vocals
- Luke Bulla (Jerry Douglas Band, Ricky Skaggs, Lyle Lovett) – fiddle, vocals, guitar
- Sara Watkins (Nickel Creek) – fiddle, vocals
- Benmont Tench (Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers) – piano, organ
- Greg Leisz (Joni Mitchell, Wilco, Sheryl Crow, Beck) – pedal steel
- Pete Thomas (Elvis Costello and the Imposters, Randy Newman) – drums
- Davey Faragher (Elvis Costello and the Imposters, Cracker) – bass
Works Progress Administration takes its name from FDR’s 1939 New Deal initiative, which put millions to work making buildings, bridges, theater, art and music. The original WPA was rooted in the values of community and creativity, and helped to keep the fire of human dignity burning through the darkest years of the Great Depression.
WPA consists of some of the most accomplished and legendary musicians in today’s American music scene. Founding members Glen Phillips, Sean Watkins, and Luke Bulla have teamed up with Sara Watkins, Benmont Tench, Greg Leisz, Pete Thomas, Davey Faragher, and long-time acclaimed producer Jim Scott (Wilco, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Rolling Stones). Once they entered Scott’s studio, the group was able to collaborate and record 17 songs live in only five days.
In an era where the expectation is that a “supergroup” is something conceived by business executives, this band came out of an authentic and vibrant musical community, and the result is a beautiful reflection of its origins. WPA was born out of the musical community surrounding the legendary LA club, Largo. The eight members of the band had known and admired each other for years, and found themselves with a strong batch of unrecorded songs, a little down time, and a collective feeling that it might be a good idea to put something on tape.
The instant classic “Always Have My Love,” penned and sung by Glen Phillips, starts the album with a powerful dose of dual fiddles, pedal steel, and piano, revealing the band’s palette from the first bar. The album continues with five more Phillips songs, plaintive and introspective tunes from Sean Watkins (“Not Sure,” “Paralyzed” and “You’re Already Gone”), commanding vocals performed by Luke Bulla on “Who’s Gonna Cry For You” and “Remember Well,” and the haunting voice of Sara Watkins on Benmont Tench’s “The Price” and the Ray Davies classic “I Go To Sleep.” Despite having four lead singers and a high level of instrumental prowess, the band keeps its focus in service to the song and creates a sound that is both timeless and unique.
In a recent review of WPA, Bill of Bill’s Music Forum explains:
The twelve songs include some of the “best” of unrecorded material from various members, as well as some tunes specifically written for the project. Remarkably, the record has tremendous cohesion, despite the myriad of styles and vocal tones each team member brings to the table…Today’s music world needs a New Deal, and the biz could learn a great deal from the spirit driving WPA.
Looking forward to the September album release!