Not many band names are as accurate as Session Americana. The six-piece musical collective, made up of some of Boston’s best folk, rock and roots musicians, promises a gathering of down-home music.
What the name doesn’t tell you is that Session Americana plays face to face in an Irish-style jam, which you can see up close and personal when the band comes to Tsunami Books promoting their recently released sixth album, Pack Up the Circus, produced by Anais Mitchell.
Ry Cavanaugh, who started the band eight years ago, says that everyone knows each other from being each other’s fans, from working in outfits like The The or in the bands of Patty Griffin and Josh Ritter.
This reverence comes through onstage, where performances are full of eye contact and easy small talk. They create a new tableau for the audience, choosing to sit near one another rather than stand. Onstage, this jam style is organized so no one’s back is to the audience, while keeping the intimacy of a circle intact. This is the music of dimly lit East Coast pubs, of mandocellos and harmonicas and guitars heating up the room against the winter storm outside.
“If I’m singing a harmony it’s so much easier if I can hear their actual voice, and not a reproduction of their voice,” Cavanaugh tells EW. “We can connect to each other, because we’re so close to each other — crashing into each other, we’re so close.”
The upcoming show will be Session Americana’s first in Oregon.
“We’ve been touring and flying places and just working as much as we can, trying to get the new music into the world,” Cavanaugh says. “I think we’re kind of inching along and this chance to play in Oregon, I hope, will be the first of many trips.”
San Francisco’s indie-pop Laura Cortese Band opens for Session Americana 7:30 pm, Thursday, Sept. 10, at Tsunami Books; $13.50 adv., $15 door.