Support Local Journalism. Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

12/12: WPA at Kent Stage

Posted By on Wed, Dec 9, 2009 at 12:26 PM

History buffs and old-timers know that WPA stands for the Works Progress Administration, the landmark New Deal-era agency that guided public-works construction, social-relief programs and arts projects. It’s this last category that relates most to the band that shares its name. This all-star Americana ensemble began as a partnership between former Toad the Wet Sprocket frontman Glen Phillips, Nickel Creek guitarist Sean Watkins and session fiddler Luke Bulla (Lyle Lovett, Jerry Douglas). But their lovely, self-titled debut also includes Elvis Costello’s rhythm team (bassist Davey Faragher and drummer Pete Thomas), Watkins’ sister and fellow Nickel Creek alum Sara Watkins, ace sideman Greg Leisz and Tom Petty’s keyboard wiz Benmont Tench. Marvelously blending Phillips’ folk-pop with Watkins’ progressive bluegrass, WPA’s music is tradition-bred without being old-timey; melodic without being glossy. The debut’s highlights range from spirited numbers (like “Good as Ever,” “A Wedding or a Wake”) to more introspective pieces (“End This Now,” “Not Sure”). While the touring unit lacks the record’s auxiliary members, the talented founding trio offers a wealth of virtuoso playing and downhome harmonizing as they amble through album tracks, old Toad and Nickel Creek material, and Bob Dylan and Weezer covers. Caravan of Thieves opens the show at 8 p.m. at the Kent Stage (175 E. Main St., Kent, 330.677.5005). Tickets: $18 advance, $20 day of show. — Berick

Tags: , , , ,

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club for as little as $5 a month.

Read the Digital Print Issue

January 5, 2022

View more issues


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.


© 2022 Cleveland Scene: 737 Bolivar Rd., Suite 4100, Cleveland, OH 44115, (216) 505-8199
Logos and trademarks on this site are property of their respective owners.

Website powered by Foundation