FIRST RATE AMERICANA came to Auckland's Tuning Fork venue last night in the form of the Alt-Country, Indie-Folk roots band Hurray For The Riff Raff. Led by Alynda Lee Segarra, the 27-year-old Peurto Rican singer-songwriter out of New Orleans via New York City and innumerable freight-train journeys across the broad back of the USA.
In an inspired set, Segarra and her band, Yosi Pearlstein (fiddle) Casey McAllister (keyboard) Chris Davis (drums) and Caley Millington (bass) rollicked their way through the material of the band's latest album, Small Town Blues (ATO Records)
Described by some as a female, twenty-first century reincarnation of Woody Guthrie, Segarra has a superbly tuned ear for the rhythms and rhymes of the American folk tradition. Her songs are infused with all the raunch and wrench of the deep South: rocking road-houses, back-road car-crashes, gruesome Gothic murder ballads - all liberally spiced with Cajun joie de vivre.
Hurray For The Riff Raff's thick/rich serving of sound fills you up with Segarra's bitter-woman, sweet-girl riff on the eccentricities of American culture. Score one more for the mystery, magic and mayhem that is the USA - and let's hope she keeps her promise to come back soon.
Video courtesy of YouTube
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