CANCELED: Session Americana brings its freewheeling modern hootenanny to Bennington

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This event has been canceled.

BENNINGTON — Session Americana, a collective that has been called a rock band in a tea cup, or possibly a folk band in a whiskey bottle, will be returning to Bennington as part of the Vermont Arts Exchange's Basement Music Series lineup on Friday, March 20, at the Bennington Brush Building at 190 North St., Bennington. The show starts at 8 p.m., with doors opening at 7.

"Session Americana are a rare breed, a collective of talented individuals that musically moves as one," writes critic Mayer Danzig for the blog Twangville. "They take their music seriously but never fail to find the joy in every note."

The anything-could-happen feel of a Session show depends on craft that's not accidental or easily won; they bring a kind of ease and genuineness to this timeless music, sometimes presenting the latest batch of original songs, sometimes reaching back into depths of the American "song bag." About Session Americana, Rolling Stone magazine says, "The group, whose members have played with a variety of acts including Patty Griffin, Josh Ritter and the J. Geils Band, expertly blends vintage American roots music styles, from country to jazz to rock, in a rowdy but deft fashion."

Hailing from Boston, this collective of talented musicians crafts a musical experience unlike any other. On stage is a collapsible bar table wired with microphones, a vintage suitcase recast as a kick drum, an old Estey field organ, a pre-war parlor guitar, a mandocello and all of its smaller siblings, a harmonica case fire damaged when Jack's bar went up in flames and graffitied by Depeche Mode roadies, and an assortment of other instruments that get passed around in this freewheeling modern hootenanny.

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Joining Session Americana on their return visit to Bennington are musicians Merrie Amsterburg and Peter Linton. Amsterburg is the winner of two Boston Music awards, one Boston Phoenix award and seven ASCAP Popular Music Awards, and has appeared on public radio shows "Mountain Stage," "World Cafe," "Acoustic Cafe" and "E-Town." She has shared the stage with many respected artists, varying from Indigo Girls to Pat Benatar, and has toured with Paula Cole, Aimee Mann and Patty Larkin. A multi-instrumentalist, she plays guitar, mandolin, bouzouki, bass, trumpet, keyboards and Indian banjo; in live performance she plays guitar, mandolin and bouzouki, and is accompanied by Linton on guitar and vocals.

Tickets for this Basement Music Series concert are $18 in advance through www.vtartxchange.org or by calling Brown Paper Ticket at 800-838-3006. If not sold out, tickets are available at the door; adults for $23 and students $10. Libations provided by Thyme Tables Catering of Shaftsbury will be available for purchase as will a delicious menu of food by Corner of India.

Basement Music Series sponsors get tickets, a reserved table and, if they wish, their name or business logos in promotional material and mentioned onstage. The tax-deductible sponsorships are critical to continuing the BMS and ensuring the diversity and quality of the artists VAE presents. The BMS not only benefits the community, but also local restaurants, artists and musicians. Contact director Matthew Perry at 802-442-5549 or matthewvae@comcast.net for more information about becoming a sponsor.

Follow the season at vtartxchange.org, on the Basement Music Series Facebook page and on Twitter.

The Bennington Brush Building is an accessible facility. Call for specific accommodations.


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