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Preview: Hurray For the Riff Raff 

Noah Bonaparte Pais on the band coming to One Eyed Jacks Sept. 25

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"This is a tune that we wrote when we were out in Germany," Alynda Lee Segarra (pictured) said to the crowds at the Newport Folk Festival in late July. "We got stuck in a big ol' traffic jam, and this just popped out of our heads." And then, onstage, the traffic jam materialized: Segarra and her Hurray For the Riff Raff bandmates, joined by the Deslondes (former Riff Raff Sam Doores and his Tumbleweeds ranch hand, Riley Downing), who were themselves flanked by Spirit Family Reunion, a Brooklyn sextet whose open-throated gospel provided a Northern response to their cross-country Southern calls. Not that Segarra minded the pileup. For the 26-year-old singer/songwriter, this Indian summer of 2013 has been a season for breakneck turns. The New Orleans band made it official in July, joining friends and tourmates the Alabama Shakes on ATO Records, then celebrated by playing a parade of Northeast music shrines: the Newport Folk Festival, Lincoln Center (for the Out of Doors Roots of American Music Festival) and the Kennedy Center. Some of the songs were Carter Family team efforts, like "Crash on the Highway" and "Blue Ridge Mountain," though despite the band's heightened presence and preponderance of supporters, the most powerful movements still are only Segarra, alone with her guitar. On her ATO debut, expected in February 2014, "The Body Electric" takes the reins from Look Out Mama's "Ode to John and Yoko," her new purview a lovely death instead of undying love. In a growing stable of gnawing songs, it has a challenge in unseating "Everybody Knows (For Trayvon Martin)," released as a live performance on Feb. 26 — the date of Martin's death and Segarra's birth. "Trayvon, can you hear me now/ I wanna help you but I don't know how," she sings tenderly, only after flashing the toughness of an arriving artist: "They say he died 'cause he wore a hood/ I guess he can't do it but the Ku Klux could." Michael Kiwanuka opens. Tickets $14. — Noah Bonaparte Pais


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