That New Orleans Americana, SXSW

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Hurray for the Riff Raff plays the main stage at the packed Empire Garage, on Tuesday night, during SXSW. - DANYELLE KHMARA
  • Danyelle Khmara
  • Hurray for the Riff Raff plays the main stage at the packed Empire Garage, on Tuesday night, during SXSW.

I’ve loved Hurray for the Riff Raff since I moved to Tucson. Their music, which I could only in find YouTube videos of neighborhood-bar performances, was raw, dirty and real, just like Tucson. It was like sipping whiskey, kickin’ rocks by the train tracks and days ending in blistering pink sunsets. Their brand-new album, “The Navigator” rings of that same feminist Americana fuck-all but sprinkled with the subtle wisdom of time gone by.

Front woman Alynda Segarra took the stage at SXSW in ripped jeans, a puffy black jacket and black baseball cap. Playing the packed Mazda Studio at Empire Garage, she sings about being an outlaw and getting over heartbreak. Some of the songs in their set have a Latin feel and others, a hint of Surf Rock.

“This is for all the wild woman in the audience,” Segarra says softly into the mic before belting out her new song, “Nothing’s Gonna Change That Girl.”


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