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WPA: A Superior Supergroup

Named after FDR's 1939 New Deal initiative, Works Progress Administration (WPA) features some of the most accomplished musicians in contemporary folk-pop. Rooted in L.A., WPA is a collaboration between Glen Phillips (Toad the Wet Sprocket), siblings Sean and Sara Watkins (Nickel Creek), Luke Bulla (Jerry Douglas Band, Ricky Skaggs, Lyle Lovett), Benmont Tench (Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers), Greg Leisz (Joni Mitchell, Wilco, Sheryl Crow, Beck), Pete Thomas (Elvis Costello and the Imposters, Randy Newman) and Davey Faragher (Elvis Costello and the Imposters, Cracker).

After a chance meeting between Sean Watkins and Grammy-winning engineer Jim Scott, the group was able to record its batch of 17 songs in an impressive five days. The band has four members accustomed to singing lead, so don't expect any one artist to overshadow the others. In all, WPA has achieved a great sense of balance, placing the emphasis on the whole rather than the individual.

Copyright 2009 XPN

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