Local folk-rock super-group Session Americana are no strangers to the WUMB studio. The band includes members of New England outfits Maybe Baby, Treat Her Right, Chauncey, Resophonics, Face To Face, The Funky White Honkies and Morphine among others. The whole group currently consists of Billy Beard, Ry Cavanaugh, Dinty Child, Jim Fitting, Jon Bistline, Kimon Kirk, Laura Cortese, Dietrich Strause, Jefferson Hamer, Alec Spiegelman, Adam Moss, Anais Mitchell, Zachariah Hickman, Charlie Rose, Duke Levine, Eliza Carthy and Jennifer Kimball. The original lineup—Sean Staples, Cortese, Child, Beard, Fitting, Bistline, Hamer, Kirk, and Cavanaugh—formed in 2004 at Toad in Cambridge, the band facing each other around a table with a single microphone in the center, a tradition they continue.
The entirety of Session Americana was represented in-studio at WUMB on March 31st by four of its members; Ry Cavanaugh, Jim Fitting, Laura Cortese, and Dinty Child. They kicked off their set with “All For You”—a co-write between Cavanaugh and Dietrich Strauss—from their latest record Pack Up The Circus featuring Cavanaugh on vocals, Fitting on harmonica, Cortese on fiddle and vocals and Child on accordion.
Pack Up The Circus, the band’s 9th overall release, was created partially utilizing the recent phenomenon of online crowd-funding campaigns. The band self-funded the album as much as they could before turning to crowd-funding—which they see more as pre-sales than anything else—recording the majority of it in three days. It also features many guest performers who had toured with the band members in the last few years.
Anais Mitchell who had worked with the band off and on for five years or so, and was the first person to bring the band to perform out of town when they opened for her and served as the “shepherd” of the group, guiding them along and finding the ability to mesh all of the “strong personalities in the room”.
Pack Up The Circus is currently available. More information on Session Americana can be found at SessionAmericana.com.