Up until 24 hours ago, I had no clue what a “tornillo” was. When I initially read the email announcing the arrival of Glen Phillips’  Tornillo album, I was assuming he named the album after a tiny fruit/vegetable (no, that’s a tomatillo) or a tasty Mexican treat (too many options to name here). As it turns out, Tornillo (thanks Wikipedia) has several definitions: it can be a natural disaster, it’s a type of tree, and it’s also the name of a town in Texas.

I have no idea which definition Glen Phillips had in mind when he named his album, but does it really matter what the title is if the music’s good? Although Glen is best known as the frontman for Toad the Wet Sprocket, he’s released several solo albums that were quite good, and he also worked on a country-flavored project called Works Progress Administration with a group of musicians including Nickel Creek’s Sean and Sara Watkins that saw release about two years ago. I was fortunate enough to see him in a teeny, tiny club in Boston around the time of the album’s release. The show was loose and relaxed…and excellent. And Glen wore shoes, which I understand is a rarity.

Tornillo isn’t actually a new album-Glen recorded it in 2003, and that project evolved into 2005’s excellent Winter Pays for Summer. Several tracks repeat (“Courage”, “Thankful” and “Duck & Cover”, to name a few), but I’m looking forward to hearing the tracks I’m not familiar with.

You can grab Tornillo from Glen’s Bandcamp page for only seven bucks! What a bargain!!!

Rumor has it that there’s a new Toad song coming as well, the band’s first studio recording in a decade. Looking forward to it!!

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