Session Americana Settles and Sits Down at the Lizard Feb. 21


session “The band started out as a kind of a lark,” says Ry Cavanaugh, singer-guitarist-ringleader of Session Americana, which plays the Lizard Lounge Friday Feb. 21. It started at the tiny Toad “as a fun thing to do on a Sunday night. I was modeling it after Irish sessions – guys sitting around a table in a pub playing fiddle music. We thought it’d be fun to do a country music/rock version of that, and it grew until it became more of a band.”

Not a stand-up band, though. “We literally have a little table with a microphone and we sit around it with a field organ we carry around,” says Cavanaugh. He says over time the band, which frequently incorporated special guests, settled around six players. Dinty Child is usually is the man on the field, or pump, organ. Kimon Kirk plays an old electric bass; Sean Staples is on mandolin, Jim Fitting is on harmonica and Billy Beard plays  “suitcase” drum kit. All are Boston music veterans.
The only songs on “Vol. 3,” their latest disc, written by band members are Child’s rollicking “Beer Town” and Kirk’s “A Month of Sundays.” The closer, “Trinity,” was written by Cavanaugh’s late father, a New York musician. The jaunty, but pointed country tune, “Born Again,” was written by the late Mark Sandman – and played live, but not recorded, by Morphine. “Sometimes when I am low on drugs and out of drink,” sings Child, at the start. “You know I actually think .” A whole gang of voices come in for the refrain: “I hope I don’t get born again/’Cause one time was enough.”
“The focus is certainly community,” says Cavanaugh. “We have a feeling that about what’s fun and what works. We’re not gonna sweat the rules too much; if it feels good we’re gonna do it.”  Cover: $15. Starts at 9:30.

 1667 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, 617-547-0759