February 15, 2013

Session Americana

Session Americana

Get ready to whoop and holler as we welcome back Session Americana! The band started out as a Sunday residency at Toad in Cambridge’s Porter Square where they brain­stormed songs and jammed together. Swapping songs and spinning tales caught on and the band has been touring festivals, winning new fans and awards ever since.

Session Americana (which consists of a core group of Jim Fitting, Jon Bistline, Billy Beard, Dinty Child and Ry Cavanaugh) is a rock band in a tea cup, or possibly a folk band in a whiskey bottle. This band/collective of talented musicians craft a musical experience unlike any other. On stage is a collapsible bar table wired with microphones, a vintage suitcase recast as a kick drum, an old Estey field organ, a pre-war parlor guitar, a mandocello and all of its smaller siblings, a harmonica case fire damaged when Jack’s bar went up in flames and graffitied by Depeche Mode roadies, and an assortment of other instruments that get passed around in this freewheeling modern hootenanny.

The anything-could-happen feel of a Session show depends on craft that’s not accidental or easily won; they bring a kind of ease and genuineness to this timeless music, sometimes presenting the latest batch of original songs, sometimes reaching back into depths of the American song bag. Session Americana is an absolute must-see, must-hear. Says David Greenberger of NPR: “I’d give them 100 miles. That is to say, if they’re playing anywhere within 100 miles of your home, you drive there and are grandly rewarded for your effort.”

An essential part of Session Americana is collaboration and spontaneity. Some of the regional and international artists who have “sat at their table” are: Patty Griffin, Kris Delmhorst, Jennifer Kimball, Peter Wolf (J.Geils Band), Bill Janovitz (Buffalo Tom), Billy Conway (Morphine), Bruno Green (FR), The Henry Girls (ROI), Cahelen Morrison (CAN), Rose Cousins (CAN), Anais Mitchell, David Wax Museum, The Watson Twins, Aoife O’Donavan, and many more.

Their newest album, Love and Dirt, is a cohesive and a well-composed batch of songs, a playfully irreverent take on roots music with an edgy experimental side. The record was tracked by Matt Malikowski and noted producer, engineer, and mixer Paul Q. Kolderie, known for his work with the Pixies, Radiohead, Hole, Dinosaur Jr., Throwing Muses, Morphine, and the Mighty Mighty Bosstones.

  • [A] contemplative soul searcher boasting a contemporary edge cut with rustic twang; Session Americana comes up with some gems, full of folk’s honesty and rock’s urgency. Scott McLennan, The Boston Gobe
  • The Marvel’s Avengers of Boston’s burgeoning Americana music scene, these guys have finally put out an album that meets or exceeds the promise of their engaging, inspiring live performances. There’s plenty of folk, some rock thrown in for good measure, and a little bit of the blues. It’s just the right recipe to make this the city’s newest timeless album. John Chesto, Boston Business Journal
  • With multiple singer-songwriters in the band one would expect a diverse array of songs on their latest release. They don’t disappoint from that perspective, all the while maintaining a cohesive feel across the song collection. No doubt, this consistency is the direct result of the time spent sitting around that table and singing. Twangville
  • Session Americana just totally and completely embodies that bottom of the bottle, love sick sadness that resides within each of us, and that’ll leave a guy howl’n, alone in the American night. Sounds like: The heart and soul of American music Alan Cross, Professional Music Geek