The Austin Chronicle

SXSW 2014 Records

Reviewed by Jim Caligiuri, March 14, 2014, Music

Hurray for the Riff Raff

Small Town Heroes (ATO)

Alynda Lee Segarra makes up the whole of Hurray for the Riff Raff. Originally from the Bronx, she's settled in New Orleans, and in many ways Small Town Heroes, her fifth – and first for a big label – reflects the reverence she possesses for the Big Easy. Segarra, occasionally with friends, makes music richly steeped in the American folk tradition. Yet where many twentysomethings of her generation take that notion and turn it into a cartoon character with a fedora and an overly wide grin, she makes music from her gut, and its imprecise nature can be haunting or provocative in the best sense of those feelings. Who knows if she's ever heard of Karen Dalton, Lucinda Williams, or Gillian Welch. At times on Small Town Heroes, Segarra echoes them precisely, taking what they do best and making it her own. That's a rung many have reached for but most have never grasped. (10pm, the Gatsby)


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