Hurray For The Riff Raff – Small Town Heroes

ATO Records

This artist’s sound roots itself in Louisiana culture but it also finds influence from her wandering cross-country travels and an urban upbringing in the Bronx. Somewhere between the Lower East Side and New Orleans Hurray for the Riff Raff (a.k.a. Alynda Lee Segarra) picked up a banjo and the skills to go with it an honest sense of Americana and a backpack full of good stories both her own and legends passed down the way.

The result is stunning. Small Town Heroes offers love songs murder ballads odes and such a beautiful understanding of life. The songs are warm most of them slow and carefully woven like a modern-day Mississippi John Hurt. There’s a couple of quicker numbers too like “No One Else” which serves up authentic bayou groove with a touch of Motown shoop.

The album centres on New Orleans but takes us from the Appalachian Mountains to San Francisco Bay with its tales. Although her sound is new and subjects like Hurricane Katrina are alluded to folks from a hundred years ago could easily appreciate these human stories. It’s Americana in the finest sense so like she says on her website if “you’re part of the riff raff… these songs are for you.”