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Preview: Hurray for the Riff Raff 

Noah Bonaparte Pais on the band's new album

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Scan the inside cover of Look Out Mama (Born to Win), the new album by New Orleans country/folk band Hurray for the Riff Raff, and you'll find the expected country/folk voices that play out the record: guitar, piano, organ, harmonica, fiddle, bass and drums. Two you won't find — banjo and accordion — may reveal more about the band's direction on this third ravishing LP. On 2008 debut It Don't Mean I Don't Love You, those distinctive instruments are omnipre-sent, like training wheels for former street busker and first-time recording artist Alynda Lee Segarra. They're two of the first sounds you hear (along with Segarra's come-hither contralto) on 2010's Young Blood Blues, though they eventually cede ground to violins and guitars, following the band's transition from junkyard recyclers to first-order country players. Here, they've been swept out completely, along with another of Segarra's early crutches, the waltz-time rhythm (it's present on only one Look Out Mama song). In their place are tender swings and light-foot shuffles, the easy paces of a metamorphosed band increasingly comfortable in its new skin. Segarra's twanged consonants and bowed vowels on the title track are bested only by her pitch-perfect yodeled finish, and on "Lake of Fire," over the album's most giddyap arrangement, she hurdles over two octaves like a warmup jog. Then there's her "Ode to John and Yoko," which honors rock's first couple with a lovingly psychedelic tribute, its warped backward-guitar bridge leading to a delightful final 90 seconds, voices upon voices singing in a double-timed shimmy, "I don't know why." Sometimes, Segarra seems to have figured out, it's best just to go with it. Tickets $8. — Noah Bonaparte Pais


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