New Orleans-based Americana/rock outfit Hurray for the Riff Raff has just embarked on a tour supporting Amos Lee, although Lee won’t be with the band in Asheville. Nope, Hurray for the Riff Raff (led by Alynda Lee Segarra with her unmistakable soulful-wistful voice) headlines and local folk-pop band Holy Holy Vine opens. Which is a really good reason to check out the Friday, Nov. 15 show at The Grey Eagle. (9 p.m., $12/$14.)
But there’s also this: New album Small Town Heroes follows Hurray for the Riff Raff’s 2012 relf-release, Look Out Mama. That effort, according to press, “led to a performance at the Newport Folk Festival, and praise from Mojo, which compared Segarra to ‘a soulful, young Loretta Lynn,’ and New York Times which hailed the group as ‘part of the loosely cohered movement of younger musicians embracing and reframing American roots music, giving it a polish of currency but otherwise leaving its bones intact.’”
The band’s bio reads like an indie movie script: Segarra is from Puerto Rico by way of The Bronx and after performing folk and country with a revolving cast of musicians, she teamed up with fiddler Yosi Perlstein. The two tapped honky-tonk band The Tumbleweeds for their backing lineup and reemerged with a more rocking, rootsy sound.
On Small Town Heroes, “many of the songs embody that most magical and fated of American cities, New Orleans. Segarra bears witness to a wave of violence that struck the St. Roch neighborhood in ‘St. Roch Blues;’ yearns for a night at BJ’s Bar in the Bywater in ‘Crash on the Highway;’ and sings of her own Lower Ninth Ward home in ‘End of the Line.’”
Photo by Sarah Danzinger.