Lyle Workman: With three successful career!

Lyle Workman – Uncommon Measures

Lyle Workman hasn’t just had a successful career – he’s had three. As a versatile sideman and session guitarist, he has toured and recorded with Beck, Sting, Frank Black, Todd Rundgren, Norah Jones, Bryan Adams, Sarah McLachlan, Jellyfish, Ziggy Marley and Tony Williams; as a film composer, his credits include the blockbusters Superbad, The 40 Year Old Virgin and Forgetting Sarah Marshall; and, as a songwriter and solo artist, he has penned hits and earned praise from rock heroes like Steve Vai and Steve Lukather. Workman now unites his various endeavors with Uncommon Measures, a stunning and stylistically diverse instrumental album featuring a 63-piece orchestra recorded live at Abbey Road. The track Noble Savage, from the album Uncommon Measure,

Bursting at the seams with soaring arrangements and virtuosic performances, Uncommon Measures’ plays like the score to an epic film from another dimension, mixing elements of progressive rock, jazz fusion, classical and choral music with gleeful abandon. Its nine tracks are living, breathing entities, constantly growing and evolving in ways both subtle and drastic. Their production is similarly unpredictable, veering from larger-than-life bombast to whispered intimacy and back, sometimes within the same piece. The result is extraordinary – a captivating, transportive song cycle that manages to scale the heights of joy and sadness, love and friendship, self-discovery and celebration, all without a single word. The track North Star,«This record ties together all the different threads of who I am as an artist» explains Workman. «It was four years in the making, but it’s really the culmination of a lifetime in music».

Grand as the album is, Workman’s eye for detail and gift for melody remains front and center throughout. Painting vivid, emotional portraits with his evocative guitar and keyboard work, he creates an immersive, cinematic universe drawn entirely from the depths of his subconscious in spontaneous, improvised writing sessions. «I’ve always felt like the muse is much more intuitive and in touch with my emotions than I am», he continues. «Writing these songs, I tried to just go into this tabula rasa state of mind, a meditative place where I could let the music tell me where to go».

Born and raised in California, Workman taught himself guitar as a youngster by playing along to songs by The Beatles. His taste would expand over the years (Genesis and Yes brought him to Mahavishnu Orchestra and Miles Davis, which led him to Ravel and Debussy), but his love of a perfectly crafted pop song saw him co-write the Todd Rundgren produced hit single I Don’t Mind At Al’ for the band Bourgeois Tagg, who he had joined after leaving music college, before he began picking up work.

Album credits:

Lyle Workman – Guitar, Keys, Composer, Arranger, Producer, Video

Abe Laboriel Jr. – Drums

Sam Wilkes – Bass

Wade Culbreath – Vibes, Marimba, Xylophone

Charlie Bisharat – Violin

Orchestrated and Conducted by John Ashton Thomas at Abbey Road, Studio 1

Mixed by Rich Breen

Mastered by Dave McNair

Orchestra Recorded by John Barrett, Assisted by Chris Parker

Pro Tools Operator – George Oulton

Abbey Road video shot by Stan Snow.


About Ulf Backstrøm (7413 Articles)
Mitt hovedfokus er musikk som er basert på progressiv tenking. Jeg er på ingen måte ensporet innen musikksmak, i likhet med intensjonen bak prog. Sjangerbegrepet er egentlig temmelig uinteressant annet enn til å gi en pekepinn om hva slags musikk det er snakk om i en anmeldelse. Jeg søker god musikk for å utfordre meg som lytter. God musikk til å trigge mine musikalske smaksløker, og til å sette i gang mine refleksjoner. Da er sjansen stor for at jeg utvikler meg og lærer, noe som bør være drivstoff for et hvert menneske. Fordi det å lære og utvikle seg er noe som tilfører livet en nødvendig porsjon "krydder". Slikt krydderet finner man blant annet i musikk. Ikke overraskende mener jeg at progressiv musikk har den fineste "smaken". På den annen side kan musikk med eller uten progressive elementer være godt nok til hverdags. Til fest derimot holder bare rendyrket prog! Må jo også få med at jeg rimelig kritisk, og jeg mener at det lages mye prog som er i beste fall uinteressant, og faktisk mye som er pinlig dårlig. Heldigvis oppveies dette av ekstremt dyktige aktører som for eksempel: Flower Kings, Mostly Autumn og White Willow, for å nevne noen tilfeldig valgte.
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