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Small Town Heroes

4.6 out of 5 stars 66 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

On February 11, Hurray for the Riff Raff will release 'Small Town Heroes,' its debut for ATO Records. The album features frontwoman Alynda Lee Segarra - who settled in New Orleans after leaving her native Bronx at age 17- with twelve new, original songs all written or co-written by Segarra, with support from a vivid cast of Crescent City musicians.

NPR has said that Hurray for the Riff Raff 'sweeps across eras and genres with grace and grit,' never more so than on 'Small Town Heroes.'
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Digital Booklet: Small Town Heroes
Digital Booklet: Small Town Heroes
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (February 11, 2014)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: ATO Records
  • ASIN: B00GO55O8I
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #28,084 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Red on Black TOP 500 REVIEWER on March 31, 2014
Format: Audio CD
On the surface this all seems rather unlikely. At the heart of Hurray for the Riff Raff is the figure of Alynda Lee Segarra a Bronx born Puerto Rican and veteran of the New York punk scene. When this music did not answer her calling she cut loose at the age of 17 to travel the US as an itinerant street musician and included some train hopping to boot. It appears that on this journey an epiphany occurred and into her veins was transplanted the blood of Guthrie, Seeger and the Stanley Brothers. “Small Town Heroes” is a roots album par excellence and if you like Lucinda Williams, Kathleen Edwards and particularly Gillian Welch you are in for a treat

For this fifth album Segarra and her fiddle player Yosi Perlstein have decamped to New Orleans and pulled in a cast of local musicians. It gives the album a nice Cajun Twist exhibited on the sprightly traditional sounding opener “Blue Ridge Mountain”. The slow blues of “Crash on the highway” sounds timeless but Segarra musical preoccupations go beyond the back porch. These are songs here that abhor violence, touch on feminism and seek to up date old country themes for the age of the Internet

The funky “No one Else” has a old rock n roll feel in terms of its shuffling rhythms and sassy vocal from Segarra. Even better is “St Roch Blues” where she is accompanied by a highly strung electric guitar for the first part of the song in a sort of twisted acappella as she warns you not to go down to New Orleans “as bullets are flying”. The short but brilliant “Body electric” is a old style murder ballad, which Nick Cave would be proud of; whilst the poignant “Levon’s Dream” is a little gem especially when she intones the opening lines “If Levon would play in the night dear/ Would you come back to my heart”.
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I fell in love with Hurray for the Riff Raff after hearing the CD Look Out Mama. There is something so familiar and yet entirely original about their music. Then I saw them live in Toronto and I was in shock by how good they were. Lead singer Alynda Lee Segarra has such a beautiful voice. I wish I could say she reminds me of this singer or that singer but that would only diminish her natural gifts or prejudice anyone listening for the first time. This is American music at its best. I look forward to many more years of Hurray for the Riff Raff. They're the kind of group that reinvigorates music and makes it exciting again.
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I first found out about this band because I play the banjo and was looking for songs to play on it. HftRR's album It Don't Mean I Don't Love You features several songs packed with banjo playing. However, even the songs that don't feature the banjo on that album are well done, musically, and I found myself listening to the entire album countless times. Of course this means that when I found out they had just put out a new album in February I would have to purchase it. This is what I did.
This album does not have much if any banjo in it, though I was not disappointed at all. They seem to go for a much slower feel here and some of their music has a more Bluegrassy tone to it. Though the songs are mostly done on acoustic and resonator guitars in this album, it is easy to see that they really tried to meet the standard set by their other albums (especially It Don't Mean I Don't Love You). In a way, they achieved this and maybe even set a higher standard. This is a great album for any Bluegrass or Folk music lover of which I am one.
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Hurray for the Riff Raff is one of my favorite bands. RiffRaff is like the Carpenters, Jonny Cash, plus surf rock, folk, blues and more but with a new perspective. I've always loved country music but lately the misogynist lyrics or tone has put me off, Hurray for the Riff Raff is different. Alynda Segarra sings songs with depth, her perspective is at times heart wrenching but always beautiful.
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Alynda just keeps getting better! You will fall in love with this beautiful voice and soulfull lyrics. So excited to see "Hurray for the Riff Raff" in Seattle this april
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By Ben Mackin on February 13, 2014
Format: Audio CD
Listening to it on a Thursday afternoon in my cubicle and all I can think is how awesome this album will sound on a Saturday afternoon with a beer and a book. It walks that fine line between chill and upbeat in a most brilliant fashion.
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I looked this band up because they happen to be on the bill with a band I am going to see soon; Shovels & Rope :-) Wow, I am so happy! Now I can't wait to see Hurray for the Riff Raff, too! Listened to this album once on NPR and had to buy it. Completely captured me immediately.
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Gillian Welch meets Iris Dement, stripped down roots/"Americana". sit back on the porch & have a hoe down in your head ... thoughtful lyrics full of sorrow & desperation.
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