Small Town Heroes album cover
Okay, normally it's easy to get overfed on irony, but a little of it here and there can be a treat. How ironic is it that the best review of the new Hurray for the Riff Raff album is in the Wall Street Journal?
Written by Steve Dougherty. I don't know if the link will work for you. I think the WSJ is normally behind a firewall which only Republicans, financiers, heirs, and people with investment portfolios are allowed past*. Something like that. If you have trouble, just type "Alynda Lee Segarra Hurray Riff Raff site:wsj.com" (without the quotation marks) in Google.
Anyway. Hurray for the Riff Raff's new album, Small Town Heroes, was released a few days ago. On February 11th. As far as I can tell it's that rarest of productions: plain old music. That is, people playing plain old instruments and one of 'em singing, recorded well. How crazy is that? What kind of radical exotica are they going to think up next?
It's a folk record, with touches of bluegrass, country, blues, cowboy plaints, even a hint of pop. A "rootsy gumbo," Steve Dougherty calls it. In the Wall Street Journal.
Alynda Lee Segarra was on the radio the other night talking about the song "The Body Electric." She wrote it as a curative for the traditional murder ballad (there are hundreds of 'em, from "Stagger Lee" to Jimi's "Hey Joe"). Her idea was that most—not all—of the victims in such songs are female, and she wanted to indicate the perspective of the victims. Along with a dark little threat there at the end.
I think it's my favorite country song since "Look at Miss Ohio" (well, not counting Hugo's country-blues rendition of Jay-Z's "99 Problems": see the first sentence of this post, above.)
And for now anyway, thanks to NPR, you can listen to the whole record for free.
*Calm down, I'm kidding.
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