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Session Americana

Diving for Gold – 2009 (Self-released)

Reviewed by Greg Yost

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CDs by Session Americana

There's something really refreshing about the way Session Americana records its albums. The six members of the Boston-based collective sit around a small wooden table containing only a single ambient microphone and record their songs live, one take at a time. This relaxed and informal recording method results in music with a lot of warmth and immediacy. With the help of Paul Q. Kolderie, a producer known for his work with bands like Buffalo Tom, The Pixies and Uncle Tupelo, the sextet perfected its own recording process while creating a memorable collection of songs.

It is said that there's strength in numbers and that certainly appears to be the case when it comes to the songwriting efforts for Session Americana. Five members have songwriting credits, and it is clear that they brought their "A" material to the table (pun fully intended).

Dinty Child's Yankee Money with its catchy sing-along chorus and Sean Staples' Here I Go Again, a classic country ballad driven by accordion and harmonica, fit nicely alongside equally impressive contributions from Jon Bistline, Ry Cavanaugh and Jim Fitting.

The only song on the set not penned by a group member is The Drivin from singer/songwriter Pete LaBonne. This smile-inducing song with its memorable refrain of "And if you're gonna do the drivin', I'm gonna do the drinkin'. If you're gonna do the drinkin', baby I'm gonna do the drinkin' too" is an instant classic and a great addition to an already solid set.