"Having had the wonderful privilege of sitting in at the Connemara FM ‘Arts on Air’ interview with Session Americana on Thursday morning, it was obvious that this was one of the must-see acts in a festival chock-full of them. The atmosphere in the crowded studio was infectious, with interviewer Paul Phelan’s acrobatics (lying backwards on the floor, head on a piece of equipment, microphone suspended above) delighting the band. You could tell these people like to have fun. And while the session in the studio was outstanding, I couldn’t wait for the gig at Mullarkey’s that night. I’d missed their gig at the Alcock and Brown the night before, instead attending the very interesting Invoke, which unfortunately ended rather abruptly. A bit too noisy for a Wednesday, apparently. No way was I missing out seeing the Americanas this time, though. Arriving just as the gig was beginning, I spot a table with three of my good friends, briefly say hi to the wonderful Kate O’Callaghan (the support act), and settle in for what I know is going to be a fantastic night of music. 17_americanasExactly what it says on the tin, the group play around a small table (specially fitted with mics underneath), switching seats and instruments regularly and playing in the style that has come to be known as Americana. But it’s by no means mellow – it comes fast and furious. I try to take notes but can barely keep up, especially on what I simply jotted down as ‘The Booze Song’, one of the greatest celebrations of drinking I’ve ever heard, in which they pause in the middle to pay musical tribute to everyone involved in the making and distributing of alcohol, including the waitress thinking about her final exams. At a certain point in the night, a spontaneous line dance erupts in the audience, increasing the energy of all in the room. The support act mentioned earlier actually plays in the middle of the gig, and are what I jokingly referred to as ‘The Kate and Seamus Show’. Kate O’Callaghan and Seamus Devaney have to win the award for cutest couple of the festival. They seemed to be everywhere and they just radiate passion and love. Excellent musicians, and sad that this is their last gig of the festival, they play a few tunes together, then the Session join in as Kate and Seamus finish up. The second set begins like an explosion, a cajun-infused number belted out by fiddle player Laura Cortese. It continues on in this vein, with one of the final songs being a tribute to Ireland – ‘Blame it on The Fuckin Irish, The Country of Love’. I know exactly what they mean – and it’s a great finish to the night and sums up the festival perfectly."