Ry Cavanaugh is one of the founding fathers of Session Americana. This is a short and sweet Q and A with Ry. I’ve been a fan of Session Americana for a long time…only wish that I had been there back in the day when they played those sessions at the legendary Tir na nOg in Somerville. As Ry says, it was a magical time. I’ve come to discover though…that any time that Session Americana gathers together around that little bar table of theirs….magic happens. It’s a special event—all those friends who are each terrific writers and musicians… how can you go wrong?
Learn more about Ry Cavanaugh and Session Americana at their website.
Check out Session Americana’s appearance on NPR.
How long have you been a professional musician?
I was paid for my first gig when I was 15, but flittered away my youth
going to college, getting a job, starting a family, making a home — I’ve only gotten down to the serious business of music in the last three years.
What’s this about your father being a honky tonk singer? Do you have memories of watching him perform when you were a kid? Did the urge for being a creative artist stem from those days?
“Urge” is a good word for it. I was never desirous or concerned with
art – it seemed to be a part of the fabric of life. My father really
made an effort towards it, breaking with more the practical and
traditional American immigrant narrative – I never knew anything else.
Tell us about the days of the Vinal Avenue String Band. I have a copy of the famous Tir na nOg album and it sure seems like it was a lot of fun.
That was a magic time. I met my wife, bought my house, had a good pub and a good band. We were young and doing what young people should do. I still sing a lot of songs I wrote in that era.
Session Americana’s latest CD “Love and Dirt” has gotten rave reviews…one critic even said it was the Top 10 Best CDs ever! Did you approach the making of this CD any differently than your other CDs?
Top 40 CDs from Boston (ever). That was a typo. Isn’t that silly? I
don’t think it’s better than our other CDs, but it may be slightly more
cohesive. We had no idea what we were doing, except that we listened
to “every picture tells a story” before we started work on it.
If you had to describe Session Americana in one sentences, what would you say?
I wrote our bio! It’s a rock band in a tea cup, or possibly a folk band in a whiskey bottle.
Session Americana will be appearing at the me&thee in Marblehead, MA on Friday, February 15.