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When the River Meets the Sea[CD]
There was a time when every Sunday night you could hear the six members of Session Americana playing music around their table at Toad, a tiny bar in the Porter Square neighborhood of Cambridge. The band, comprised of "the cream of the Somerville/Cambridge roots music community" (says No Depression magazine), would play just about any song that came into their heads, and they would also invite whoever might stroll in through the front door to sit down at the table and have a spin. One night it was Rose Polenzani. From the first moment, it clicked between Rose and Session. They weren't just her backing band and she wasn't just sitting in. Out of the spontaneity (and joy!) of those Sunday nights was born this CD. To capture that feel Rose and the band turned to Hi n' Dry, (now defunct, but) a truly unique loft/recording studio established by Morphine founder Mark Sandman. The studio itself was structured towards live, one-room recording, with the "first take" often held up like a holy grail. With the help of that rich, red, history-soaked loft, Billy Conway as producer, Matt Malikowski as engineer, and about 20 microphones, they were able to recreate that live Sunday night feel, because it was live. But really, it was more than a live recording, because it was also recorded with fresh ears. Each of the songs captured here were introduced to the band and special guests no more than an hour before they were recorded. You can almost hear the arrangements' organic emergence as the songs rise out of the sonic dust. All those present were free to play any of the studio's instruments, from a grand piano to a toy piano to a vibraphone, and from over a dozen guitars. The resulting musical arrangements stand as unrepeatable works of chance, friendship, and artistry.
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