When it comes down to Session Americana, they are a truly unique and whimsical group of musicians with a powerful and passionate nature as well as a sense of grandeur and a hint of the theatrical. Their modern-era hootenanny stylings have been likened to ‘a rock band in a tea cup or a folk band in a whisky bottle’ and this really isn’t far from the truth.
North East is their latest album and it is a daring and decadent collection of melodies that continue to blur the lines between folk, rock and country with an ever-evolving sound that gives new credence to a collection of much loved songs from around the world. One of the most charmed elements to North East is the constant tumultuous nature of it that sees you herded through a dramatic landscape where the seasons and years are in constant flux. This gives each song a resplendent juxtaposition to its predecessor pairing off songs like the rough and gritty You Go Your Way which is burning with a deep and virulent passion that ploughs their esoteric keyboard melodies with deep and thrumbling bass lines. It’s the perfect counterpart to The Night which follows with such a rich and tender lullaby presence. Gentle guitar strings are carefully plucked alongside tremulous violins and the most softly tinkling piano keys to create a song with a true ‘unplugged’ vibe as their raw love and energy is proven once again with a completely different atmosphere.
This atmosphere is something that is carefully cultivated not only through the stunning melodies that the collective produce but also from the soothing, honeyed vocal harmonies that they produce both as a band and as individuals. Each and every artist who has contributed to this landmark album has stamped their own inimitable mark on every song. Covering songs from such a versatile group of artists including The Pixies, Jonathan Richman and Letters to Cleo takes a serious amount of dedication and an attention to detail that is unparalleled as they cloak themselves in their decadent music. The reality is that with North East, Session Americana have become a lot less like a rock band in a tea cup and much more like a hurricane in a shot glass. They have a thrashing and crashing energy and passion that simply blows you away.
From start to end, North East is a stunning collection of songs that showers you with fiddles, harmonicas, banjos, kick-drums made of old suitcases and so much more. Like a modern day collection of troubadours they seem to have walked the world over and have come back to their roots and brought a whole heap of other acts with them. It’s not just an album for fans of Session Americana but for fans of each and every artist they have covered.
Session Americana – European Tour – September-October 2019
Ry Cavanaugh, Jefferson Hamer, Billy Beard, Dinty Child, Jim Fitting, Jon Bistline
Sat 28 Coolderry, Co. Offaly, nr. Roscrea Leap Castle
Sun 29 Balleybofey, Co. Donegal Balor Arts Centre
Wed 2 Cloughanover, Co. Galway Campbell’s Tavern
Thu 3 Wexford Wexford Arts Centre
Fri 4 Naul, Co. Dublin Séamus Ennis Arts Centre
Sat 5 Cork Cork Folk Festival
Sun 6 Ballydehob, Co. Cork Levis Secret Song Festival
Mon 7 Ballydehob, Co. Cork Levis Secret Song Festival
Wed 9 Leiden, NL QBus
Thu 10 Terheijden, NL Puur Wit @ Witte Kerkje
Sat 12 Ede, NL Live Stage Marnix
Sun 13 Brussels Indies Keeping Secrets
Wed 16 Lugagnano di Sona, IT Il Giardino
Fri 18 Ameno, IT Museo
Sat 19 Montebelluna, IT Mato Rosso
Sun 20 Pavia, IT Spazio Musica
Mon 21 Cantu, IT 1 E 35
Thu 24 Solothurn, Switzerland Acoustic Nights @ Altes Spital
Sat 26 Houffalize, Belgium La Truite de Argent
Sun 27 Edam, NL A Walk About Music @ De Harmonie
Mon 28 Eindhoven, NL De Maandag van Van Meurs @ Muziekgebouw
Review by Joe Knipe