Session Americana is a Boston-based band consistently referred to in articles by variants of “a folk-rock supergroup,” a “who’s who” or “all-star” band featuring members Sean Staples (mandolin, guitar, vocals, mandocello, fiddle), Billy Beard (drums/vocals), Jon Bistline (bass/vocals), Ry Cavanaugh (guitar, mandocello, vocals), Jim Fitting (harmonica/vocals) and Dinty Child (mandocello, fiddle, banjo, guitar, accordion, keyboards, vocals).
This six member group of experienced musicians came together in 2004, for a series of informal shows at Toad (a Pub in Cambridge) on Sunday nights. Session Americana had a Sunday-night residency at Toad for two years, moving to the larger Lizard Lounge in Cambridge, MA when their popularity outgrew Toad’s small capacity. Their shows continue to involve the band facing each other around a table, passing instruments around as needed, harmonizing on old blues tunes, classic Americana songs, and original numbers written by the group members and their guests.
It's easy to leave a live Session Americana show and think "I wish I had a recording of that night", but most often live recordings are pale representations of experiences better left in the mind. Its just not the same without the energy of the room, the buzz of your companions, and other buzzes. Count the live albums worth listening to, and you'll find very few: Duke Ellington at Newport; Aretha at the Filmore; The Band's Rock of Ages, to name just a few.
A great live album should make you feel like you missed a really good party, like Listening to Dr Feelgood on Live at the Filmore. What Session Americana hopes to accomplish with this recording is exemplify the fun and energy of those unforgettable nights at the Lizard Lounge over the past few years. The songs may not sound exactly like you remembered them if you were there, and they don't sound technically as good as they would sound in a studio session, but the vibe is there, along with the energy, the fun, and a little magic, too. What more could one ask for?
Session Americana Live was recorded at the Lizard Lounge, Cambridge, MA on May 14, 2009, August 6 2010, December 21, 2010, January 11, 2011, and February 8, 2011.
released August 21, 2012
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