Small Town Heroes

Small Town Heroes

by Hurray for the Riff RaffHurray for the Riff Raff


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On the title cut of Small Town Heroes, Alynda Lee Segarra, the mastermind (and sometimes sole member) behind ramshackle New Orleans-based folk ensemble Hurray for the Riff Raff, wrestles with the fallout of a relationship gone sour over a single finger-picked guitar paired with the slow, distant freight train hum of a Hammond B-3, and reaches a simple, well-weathered conclusion; "I tempted fate, and I acted smart/I grew some callous on my heart." Segarra's take on the Big Easy, and dusty, boxcar Americana in general, is hardly groundbreaking, but her sonorous and soulful voice, and her ability to weave a real sense of place and emotional authenticity into well-worn folk motifs make for a compelling listen, especially when she peppers the familiar with a pinch or two of subversion. Both "Crash on the Highway" and "The Body Electric" are built upon a foundation of tumbleweed-strewn, dust bowl fatalism, but the former turns tragedy into amusing tour diary fodder ("We can't make it to our gig on time"), and the latter offers a up a smart, feminist take on the traditional murder ballad ("Like an old sad song, you heard it all before/Deliah's gone but I'm settling the score"). Throughout it all Segarra struts her stuff without the slightest bit of arrogance (most of the arrangements are spare, but never willfully so), offering up a confident, yet ultimately amiable set of millennial-informed, urban crafted, Woody Guthrie-inspired, contemporary hobo-folk anthems that play fast and loose with genre tropes without losing the essence that makes them universal.

Product Details

Release Date: 02/11/2014
Label: Ato Records
UPC: 0880882192525
catalogNumber: 2192525

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Hurray for the Riff Raff   Primary Artist
Micah Hulscher   Piano,Hammond B3
Casey McAllister   Organ,Acoustic Guitar,Piano,Accordion,Harpsichord,Piano Strings,Hammond B3
Emily Nelson   Cello
Alynda Lee Segarra   Guitar,Harmonica,Vocals
Dan Cutler   Electric Bass,Acoustic Bass,Harmony
Yosi Perlstein   Fiddle,Percussion,Violin,Drums,Clogs
Sam Doores   Guitar,Harmonica,Drums,Electric Guitar,Vocals,Slide Guitar,Harmony
Matt Nelson   Cello
Avery Bright   Viola
A.P. Baer   Banjo,Dobro,Electric Guitar,Harmony
Zack Stetchfield   Slide Guitar
Charles Garmendia   Drums
Ben Tremble   Slide Guitar

Technical Credits

Jesse Fuller   Composer
Casey McAllister   Layout
Andrija Tokic   Engineer
Scott Guion   Cover Painting
Alynda Lee Segarra   Composer,Producer
Dan Cutler   Vocal Arrangements
Andrew Bizer   Direction
Yosi Perlstein   Advisor
Sam Doores   Composer,Additional Production

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