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Hurray For The Riff Raff

HurrayForTheRiffRaffSmall Town Heroes
ATO Records/PIAS

Alynda Lee Segarra has plenty of life experience to draw on when it come to the tales she puts to music. Raised by her aunt and uncle in the Bronx, she dropped out of school, frequented the New York punk scene and then the day after she turned 17, freight-train-hopped across the country. Segarra settled in New Orleans and fell in love with the music and culture.

As a member of the Dead Man Street Orchestra, Segarra took up washboard and soon moved to the banjo. It was this instrument that allowed her the vehicle to front her own outfit, Hurray For The Riff Raff. Small Town Heroes is their most polished to date and should see the band spread roots deeper and wider than Southern America.

The things that make the band so great are still there, with Segarra brandishing her sultry morning after voice with verve and zest. She pays tribute to women who have been undervalued and forgotten on the foreboding The Body Electric. Segarra shows she has many tricks as she pulls on her gothic appeal and southern charm for the more chipper I Know It’s Wrong (But It’s Alright).

Hurray For The Riff Raff are one of the most brave and defiant bands to wear the Americana tag, and have the arsenal to put many of their more fancied counterparts to the sword. Small Town Heroes should widen their audience and give them the recognition they deserve.

CHRIS HAVERCROFT