A Fabulous Americana Session with Session Americana
I know it might be surprising, but I had never seen Session Americana perform until a few days ago. I knew I was in for a treat when I saw an old-timey microphone front and center onstage. When the band came out, Jim Fitting (harmonica), Ry Cavanaugh (guitar initially), and Adam Moss (fiddle) sat around that mic. Behind them sat Billy Beard (drums) and Kimon Kirk (bass, mostly), around another of those microphones. Dinty Child (keyboard and accordion, mostly) sat to the side.
Other than Fitting and Moss, the musicians switched instruments and positions throughout the show. I am impressed enough when musicians play a variety of stringed instruments; but when they switch to other kinds of instruments as Cavanaugh, Beard, and Moore did, I am wowed. The way this crew switched instruments appeared effortless, despite the fact that it may have been tough to find the room to maneuver on the tight stage.
The audience knew many if not most of the songs and sang along with the band, which was encouraged. I sang along on the choruses that were easy to learn. Among those songs were “Beertown,” “Stolichnaya,” and “It’s Not Texas.”
They also played “Long Hot Summer Day” — a song I first heard live at a Turnpike Troubadours show I saw last month and presumed it was their song, but it’s by John Hartford. Session Americana’s version is quite different than the Troubadours’ version, but just as good.
These musicians are quite witty, and that wit was proffered through the songs as well as the banter between them. The band obviously enjoys performing together and the show was tight without being rigid. All these players are based in the Boston area and are well-known session artists. They do tour outside New England, however, so if they are coming to a city near you and you like Americana music, I recommend you catch them.