The following was submitted me & thee coffeehouse:
On Friday, March 16, the me&thee welcomes back Session Americana with special guest, Rose Polenzani. The musicians who make up Session Americana started as a Sunday residency at Toad where they brainstormed songs and jammed together. Swapping songs and spinning tales caught on and the band has been touring festivals, winning new fans and awards ever since. Rose Polenzani stopped by one evening and it was magic – she and the band just clicked and have performed off and on since, even releasing a CD together. Doors open at 7:30 PM for this 8:00 PM show at the me&thee coffeehouse which is located at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Marblehead at 28 Mugford Street.
Session Americana (which consists of Jim Fitting, Jon Bistline, Billy Beard, Dirty Child and Ry Cavanaugh and sometimes other guest musicians) sit tightly around a small cafe table, ambient mics tuned to catch the whole sound of the voices and instruments. A suit-case drum kit, an old electric bass, a bunch of acoustic instruments, a field organ: This format feels very theatrical and though the musicians face each other, the audience feels drawn into the circle by the warmth, joy and camaraderie that emanate outwards by the all star cast of characters seated around the table. What keeps you coming back show after show is the same thing that any audience member longs for, great songs performed by a great band. The core members of the band have brought enviable careers worth of experience to the "table", featuring (current and former) members of Treat Her Right, Patty Griffin, Lori McKenna, The The, Dennis Brennan, Kris Delmhorst. The group has grown from a rag tag jam at a local pub to a regional institution, playing gigs from church coffee houses to urban nightclubs to regional festival tents to large halls. The band’s 2009 CD, Diving for Gold represents a big change for Session Americana as it features original material as opposed to previously using songs from its immediate community of friends and public domain material. Their latest CD, Live released in 2011 is drawn from five of their very popular shows at the Lizard Lounge and captured the vibe, energy, magic and fun that they create on stage.
Rose Polenzani was first noticed for her 1998 unanimous win in the Chicago Lilith Fair competition, closely followed by her debut at the Newport Folk Festival. She spent several years touring and recording, moving from her native Chicago to California to Boston, where she has been nominated for Best Female Vocalist in the Boston Music Awards. Rose has released records both privately and on labels such as Rykodisc and Daemon Records. Rose's song "You Were Drunk" was named "Best New Song" at Mountain Stage Newsong contest in 2008. Her 2008 release, When the River Meets the Sea is a collaboration with Session Americana. The musical arrangements stand as unrepeatable works of chance, friendship, and artistry. Rose’s latest CD, The Rabbit was released in mid 2011 and was self produced.
Tickets for the performance by Session Americana with Rose Polenzani opening are $16 in advance and $19 at the door. Tickets are available online at www.meanthee.org and can be purchased in person in Marblehead at either the Spirit of ’76 Bookstore or the Arnould Gallery As at all me & thee coffeehouse events, refreshments are available, including homemade pastries, coffee, and teas. The me & thee has a handicapped-accessible entrance and an accessible bathroom, is a smoke-free environment, and is easily reached by MBTA bus. The me & thee is the oldest continually running acoustic coffeehouse in New England, and probably the country. The me & thee has been and will always be a volunteer, non-profit organization sponsored by the Unitarian Universalist Church of Marblehead. For information and directions, call 781-631-8987 or check the website www.meandthee.org.