The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - MUSIC - JOE BREEN

Small Town He­roes

ATO Records

Small Town He­roes may not be best thing Alynda Lee Se­garra will ever record, but bet­ter­ing this gritty and mov­ing slice of Amer­i­cana will take some work. Hur­ray for the Riff Raff is the nom de guerre of Se­garra, a 26-yearold singer-song­writer of Puerto Ri­can de­scent who left New York City when she was 17 to wan­der across Amer­ica. She is now based in New Or­leans, and her ex­pe­ri­ences form a back­drop to the ev­ery­day con­cerns of long­ing, lov­ing and los­ing, of friends, vi­o­lence and com­mu­nity that fill these 12 songs. Se­garra adapts a range of loose-fit­ting roots styles, but the main sound is coun­try soul. Her re­work­ing of clas­sic Amer­i­cana is noth­ing new, but Se­garra’s be­guil­ing voice and haunt­ing melodies cre­ate a mag­netic emo­tional cen­tre, as with the beau­ti­ful sad­ness of St Roch Blues and the joy­ful en­ergy of End of the Line. hur­ray­forther­

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