TVD Live Shots:
Hurray for the Riff
Raff and Son Little at
the 9:30 Club, 4/21

Last Tuesday, the New Orleans-based modern folk heroes, Hurray for the Riff Raff performed at DC’s 9:30 Club and indulged their audience with a genuine taste of real Americana.

To commence Tuesday’s performance, vocalist Alynda Lee Segarra took the stage alone and brought to life “The New SF Blues” minus the accompaniment of her band, delivering the lyrics with a commanding voice and an unassuming, graceful swagger. Segarra then turned to welcome her band to the stage for the next song with a “…here comes the rest of the Riff Raff” and smiled as the audience welcomed her and her full combo to DC.

Hurray for the Riff Raff immediately dove into the night’s second song “Blue Ridge Mountain” from their latest full length release, Small Town Heroes. The band proceeded to fill the room with beautifully orchestrated, yet simplistic tones well into the night. Despite their modest stage set up and use of only essential instruments—guitar, piano, drums, fiddle, and bass—the Riff Raff unquestionably fills the room with a very full sound. I suppose that when you use only the key ingredients to make a soup, that’s exactly what you taste the most. Point being—simple is a really good thing.

Small Town Heroes is the fifth full-length release for Hurray for the Riff Raff and the signature of the band’s sound is of course the vocals of Ms. Sergarra. Her slow, sweeping delivery is simply stunning and her lyrics are poignant tales that transport the listener right into her world where she leaves a piece of it with you.

The set list included “Look Out Mama,” “Crash on the Highway,” “I Know It’s Wrong (But That’s Alright),” “Ode to John and Yoko,” “Slow Walk,” “End of the Line,” and “Little Black Star.”

Opening the evening’s festivities was Son Little, aka Aaron Livingston, the Philly based musician best known for his collaborations with The Roots and RJD2. Performing to a modest, but warm audience, the bulk of the crowd slowly trickled in from the street to await what the evening’s headliner, yet greeted the openers enthusiastically.


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