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Preview: Ani DiFranco, Hurray for the Riff Raff and The Roots of Music 

A benefit for the Innocence Project Oct. 17 at House of Blues

click to enlarge ani.jpg

Photo by Charles Waldorf

You don't have to look far to find the parallels between Ani DiFranco (pictured) and Alynda Lee Segarra: Native New Yorkers who busked their way to New Orleans; folk firebrands and commanding contraltos who take full advantage of having something to say and microphones in their faces. (NPR paired the artists for its "Sense of Place" series in 2012.) But DiFranco and Segarra are anything but straight lines, their detouring careers zigzagging into one another by happenstance — the former settling into the nourishing insular routine of family life; the latter turning her attention further and further outward, her talents populating in proportion to her audiences — with a big assist from the creative magnet that is the Crescent City. Last year, in titles that play with literalism and irony, they almost seemed to switch roles: DiFranco took it easy on Allergic to Water (Righteous Babe) while Segarra took it to the streets with Hurray for the Riff Raff's ATO debut Small Town Heroes. Here they team up with Derrick Tabb's Roots of Music players in a JusticeAid benefit for the exoneration nonprofit's Innocence Project New Orleans and Mid-Atlantic Innocence Project — a fitting cause for two formidable women whose shared passion is making wrongs right. Tickets $52.

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