Glen Phillips

Glen Phillips

Omar Velasco

Tue 3.5.19

Doors: 6:30 pm / Show: 7:30 pm

$15/$18

This event is all ages

Glen Phillips
Glen Phillips
Glen was for thirteen years frontman and primary songwriter for the multiplatinum-selling alternative rock band Toad the Wet Sprocket, whose hits include “All I Want,” “Walk on the Ocean,” “Good Intentions,” and “Fall Down.” (The band formed in Santa Barbara in 1986—when Glen was sixteen—and signed with Columbia Records two years later.)

After Toad’s breakup, Glen launched his solo career with the 2001 CD Abulum, for which he was praised by Nashville’s Rage Magazine as “one of the premier pop songwriters of his generation.”

In 2003 Glen was commissioned by Titanic director James Cameron to write the song “Departure,” featured in Cameron’s IMAX film Ghosts of the Abyss. Glen also performed in 2003 on albums by The Ataris and Sean Watkins.

In 2004 Glen released his collaboration with Grammy winners Nickel Creek under the name “Mutual Admiration Society,” on the Sugar Hill label.

[An] eleven-track marvel … shaded with plenty of subtle nuance that shimmers in all the right places. Phillips’ voice has never sounded better.
—The Music Box

In 2005 Glen released Winter Pays For Summer on Lost Highway Records, with appearances by Jon Brion, Ben Folds, and Pete Thomas of Elvis Costello & The Attractions.

Whether they're power pop tunes with catchy choruses or restive waltzes, the songs on Winter Pays for Summer are smart, honest and, ultimately, hopeful. And that's, as one song puts it, ‘a lot to be thankful for.’
—USA Today

In 2006 Phillips released Mr. Lemons on his own Umami label.

After opting for a lush and refined sound on his last record … Phillips spins the production knobs to zero on his third solo record. [Its songs] … are chiefly built around Phillips’ honey-dipped voice and a lonely guitar, throwing a bone to the legion of fans that prefer his lone-man live performances.
—Amazon.com, Editorial Review

In 2008 Glen released his concept album about space travel, Secrets of the New Explorers.

Secrets … is a brilliant piece of music … The songs are beautiful, and the closing track “A Dream” is sparse loveliness at its finest, reminding the listener once more why they came to fall in love with the music of Glen Phillips in the first place.
—HybridMagazine.com

In 2009 Glen released the first album by, and began extensive touring with, his new supergroup: Works Progress Administration (“WPA”). The group is a collaborative which also includes Sara and Sean Watkins (Nickel Creek), Pete Thomas (Elvis Costello & the Attractions), Benmont Tench (Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers), Luke Bulla (Ricky Skaggs), et al.

The crisp geniality of progressive bluegrass and the polished heartache of modern country both have a home in WPA.
—The New York Times

In praise of the group’s musical diversity and the success of its eclectic lineup of talent, the Washington Post review notes, simply, “WPA is proof there's no solid formula for making the best music.”

***

2013 brought the release of “New Constellation,” Toad The Wet Sprocket’s first new studio album in fifteen years, a perfect return to form for a band whose trademark combination of lyricism and brainpower has magicked legions of admirers into truly undying fans.

Older, wiser, and with a newfound hopefulness that wasn't there in their younger days, Toad deliver [in “New Constellation”] an uncluttered and thoughtful next step of their ongoing songcraft.
—AllMusic
Omar Velasco
Omar Velasco
"I started playing as soon as I can remember. I took to it right away," said singer/songwriter Omar Velasco of his musical beginnings. "I didn't really decide to do it as a career until later in life — about 18 years old." Now, after six years as a guitarist touring with the band A Fine Frenzy and then with Jonathan Wilson, Velasco has embarked on a solo career. His debut album, Golden Child, comes out this summer.

If the two preview songs on his website (musicofvelasco.com) are indicative of the record's entirety, then Golden Child will prove to be a tantalizing aural experience. "Great Western City" is a galloping number with rich vocals and a lyrical sense of storytelling. "Golden Child" has a jazzy feel with orchestration undertones à la a funkier Seals and Crofts, and Velasco's warm vocals soothe like a summer breeze.

Velasco lived in different cities and countries while growing up, but the family finally settled in Goleta when he entered high school. His eclectic sensibilities come from his nomadic beginnings and being raised in a multicultural family that listened to a wide array of music. "My mother is Mexican, so there was a lot of Latin-influenced music," Velasco explained. "My dad would listen to a lot of world music — African, Afro-Cuban, South American. He has a Yiddish background, so a lot of that, too. … Of course [there] was the Beatles and Cat Stevens, more of the popular stuff, which I love."

For the last year and a half, Velasco has been laying down tracks with Wilson, who is also a sought-after producer. "I actually finished mixing about October," he said. Previously, he played mostly solo acoustic gigs, but for this go out, Velasco has put a band together. "I love doing things by myself, you can be absolutely vulnerable because nobody is listening and you can make all the weird sounds that you like," he said. "That being said, there's nothing like the magic that can be created with a group of resonant people." —Michelle Drown
Venue Information:
SOhO Restaurant and Music Club
1221 State Street
Santa Barbara, CA, 93101