Table Top People is not a typical album. It is a work of love for the core members of the Session Americana project, Billy Beard, Ry Cavanaugh, Dinty Child, Jim Fitting, Kimon Kirk, and Sean Staples. The Session Americana project is based on a simple concept — a bunch of musicians sit in a circle and play together.
They take turns working out the arrangements for the mix of standards and obscure original songs that they play. The core group is joined by an array of talented musicians, both live and in the studio, but always in a circle. This gives the music an open, inviting feel. With brushes on a snare and an upright bass, the music has a down home feel to it. Lap steel and harmonica, trombone and mandolin, it’s all in there. This is a family friendly album.
Some of the songs seem to be there just for the kids, running around in the backyard at a barbecue on a Saturday afternoon. You’ll be singing along with these discs before you even know it. “Food Opera” will find itself flying from your mouth the next time a sad little kid needs you to belt out a melody. You don’t even have to sing the exact words that are there; it’s the melody that’s so catchy. And if that doesn’t work, their version of Jonathan Richman’s “Party in the Woods” will put a smile on even the most flustered wee one. This is by no means strictly a kid’s album, though.
The music is intelligent and fun. It swings and shuffles; it is thoughtful and whimsical at the same time. This is music you’ll want to put in when guests are coming over. You’ll probably listen to it while you clean the house on Sunday afternoon. Turn it up and grab a dance partner; you’ll find yourself prancing around the house or swinging in the yard instantly.