9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 25 September 2012
Apparently I've been living under a rock.
That can be the only explanation for my ignorance of the existence of Hurray for the Riff Raff aka Alynda Lee Segarra.
My introduction to her/their talents was rather serendipitous.
A random email arrived asking if I would be interested in reviewing the album, and then it went on to say that there was an Alabama Shakes connection as it shared a producer.
While I was reading the email I had Alabama Shakes playing so while I'm not one to to claim that everything is mapped out it did seem fateful.
A stars aligning moment if you believe in that sort of thing.
Within a few minutes the music was washing over me.
It's beguiling stuff.
Midway through it I was hooked.
Describing themselves as a country folk band seems to downplay just how good they are.
It's a niche that they have one foot in, but there's far more going on.
Similarly to claim they were just another Americana act would fall short of covering the talents on display.
There's a great deal of depth in the material.
There's history there.
It's tremendously evocative of a time and place that doesn't exist in any sort of reality, and instead is a pot pourri of the sounds of the highways and byways of America, the sweat of the land, the births and deaths of generations.
There's something of the mountain tracks and fresh clean air, the vista splitting asphalt that divides deserts and runs to the point where the earth meets the sky.
It's all there.
It sounds like the slow and easy heartbeat of the US.
Not the corporate marching drum beat, but the real sound of the people.
While listening to it I'm filled with hope.
Hope for the future, hope for the generations to come.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
I was lucky to catch this New Orleans band earlier this year and so immediately ordered this album, I have taken a while to write a review as I wasn't sure if it would be a `stayer' or not. Sometimes an album is instantly likeable and after a while the shine comes off, well not in this case. Opening track sets the pace with Southern, country almost Cajun fiddle and a beautiful clear affected vocal from lead Alynda Lee Segarra. Title track, `Look Out Mama' is one of my faves especially the aforementioned fiddle and some Chet Atkins type yodelling which just works so well.
`Ramblin Gal', is a sort of ballad with minimal accompaniment from guitar and is one of these `c and w' type stories and just washes over you - beautiful. Track 4 `What's Wrong With Me' is one of those love worn laments, with fifties - esque back vocal crooning. That leads to `Ode to John and Yoko' and is one of the most accomplished of the numbers here and tells the story of - well you can work out that from the title, and I am not a Beatles fan but I most certainly am a fan of this. `Lake on Fire' is more up tempo and shows the vocal talents of Ms Lee Segarra as she hits notes that would make my eyes water in an attempt to do the same. `Riley' is my least favourite it is a dark self conscious tale done in a mood of half lit back alleys and a love destine to crash and burn - blimey I am making it sound rather good, might go back for a second listen or three.
`Go out on the road' has a pedal steel and a plodding feel of a fate accepted in true C and W tradition, together with tinkling piano and effortless double bass, what is not to like? Track 9 `Born to Win' opens with a Sam Doores playing harmonica, he plays nearly everything (and rather well too)this is lazy afternoons and sound scapes of hope. The last track is `Something's Wrong', and it slows the pace down a mite and is a nice low key way to end this really beautiful album. Great live and great on record, can't wait for more.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 6 November 2012
An evocative new album of mellow, emotional songs. If you like Cowboy Junkies, Cat Power, Neil Young this will be for you.