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Late Doors

Hurray For The Riff Raff, Brudenell

Essentially a vehicle for the very talented and interesting Alynda Lee Segarra although that would be doing the Musical telepathy and bond that runs through the band a massive injustice. I've been aware of the band for a few years but last year's album Small Town Heroes (last year to me anyroad, it might be older than that) really cemented them as top notch Americana Folk of the highest order.

She has a back story, like Seasick Steve that tells the tale of a New York Outcast runaway living rough, playing the streets busking making her way to New Orleans. Her Mum was actually deputy Mayor of New York for a time although she lived mostly with her Aunt in the Bronx. Dunno much about The Bronx, im sure it's not all Fort Apache but she appears to have genuinely witnessed a lot of harshness in her young life particularly in the Post flood New Orleans streets. Whatever the circumstances she most certainly has the finest traditions of traditional American music ingrained in her every pore with a voice and prose to match.

Her lyrics tell tales of suffering, brutal treatment of human beings and reflect a young life observing the realities of a nation's century or two in the sun coming to an end. Folk music like this will, or at least should never disappear. Listen to the contemporary and evocative The Body Electric below that she sang solo early in the set to get a good idea of what she is about

Only had half an eye on the Wales match in the Brudenell Lounge before I left my comrades to take a position in front of the stage much to the sniggering amusement of them all. The band came on about half past nine to good respectable venerable crowd of mostly over 35s for their last gig in the country before flying home the day after. "Let's make it a good one" said Alynda before moving into End Of The Line from the new album then a song about John and Yoko. Somehow I found myself immediately in front of the stunningly attractive Bass player but honestly my eyes were all over the band, particularly the ace Gibson guitarist filling in with tasteful runs and chops that lavished the songs with a gutsy glue.

They played a couple of brand new ones which is always a good confident sign live and a cover or two. I remember a Lucinda Williams one in the encore. The adoring crowd were with the band immediately but by the encore they were completely taken, I know I was. Small Town Heroes again from the new album then Little Black Star finished it along with a few words of the shooting madness back home and a disparaging reference to Trump. The band took a mutually appreciative bow and left with waves and smiles.

This is an extract from an interview she did and epitomises what I see in the new Americana compared to the main original sources of the music. Much as I love Blues music I've never been enamoured with the misogynistic lyrics that sometimes prevail. This is her take on it

“I was somewhere on tour in a bar listening to a guy sing a song about killing his girlfriend because she cheated on him. At the end everyone cheered and clapped and I was sat there horrified, thinking, ‘You have no idea what you’re singing about.’ Y’know, somebody writes a song in an old form because they think that’s what they’re supposed to do. They’re not singing from their heart, they’re not singing about something they know about, they’re just trying to sound tough and trying to use this whole form to get attention. It made me so angry, it just made me feel like I’m gonna take this whole form and sing about what I know about and be sincere."


I think she's great and would definitely have been there if not on holiday. Saw her support someone else about three years ago and she stole the show, effortless and, yes, very damn good looking. Missed Lucinda Williams also, must choose my vacation dates better next tiime.
Late Doors

Yeah we all said we were still in the throes it the day after which is always the sign of a great gig

The new album is quite amazing. Whatsmore, after being convinced I was away when she's in Leeds turns out I'm not - next Monday. Very looking forward to it.
Late Doors

Nice one, will buy the album at the gig. See you there in the usual.
Late Doors

Excellent gig. She's got a bit more stary since last summer as if she knows she's on the up. Same band and incredibly I found myself slap bang in front of the Bassist and keyboard player who are foxier that Foxy McFoxb the local Fox around Foxes Biscuit factory.

A lot of the new album played that wasn't  familiar but is now since I bought it at the gig. Not as Folkier as its predecessor but more punch and "protest" value. She's certainly upped the radical angle of her music and the gig was a lot rockier than the last one I thought. Superb guitar playing, a lot earthier than the album. Finished off with Body Electric (see clip above) which is just a superb sign o the times song. I imagine she will be the discovery of the festival for a lot of people this summer. On at Green Man as well.

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