I'm not sure if this story made the news outside of NYC. But a few months ago, a few tour guide companies were shut down. They existed to bring idiot tourists to the South Bronx in the early hours of the morning to gawk at food pantry lines, graffiti, and empty playgrounds. Because apparently poverty doesn't exist in Japan and Europe.
One of the articles I read featured alternative tour suggestions, particularly focusing on the Bronx's strong musical tradition. Sure, there's plenty of rap, hip-hop, and Latin music here. (Also, I kid you not, a HUUUUUGE Dominican pop scene.) But here's an unsung daughter of the Bronx who adds even more flavor to the borough's tradition.
Hurray For the Riff Raff (Alynda lee Segarra) is now based out of New Orleans, and the influence shows in her music. Known for her bluesy approach, Hurray For the Riff Raff most recently released an acclaimed country album. For her fifth swing at the study, Hurray For the Riff Raff has released a collection of covers that hold personal to her.
The source material is diverse -- there's a little Joni Mitchell on here, Hank, Lucinda Williams, and other greats. She's also included two originals as well -- attempts to continue the story where other writers left off.
Whether she's singing a traditional folk song or pop, Segarra's voice soars. She could rival Patsy Cline or sing circles around the folks she's covering. This is a fantastic album. Make it yours today.
Angel Ballad (Alynda lee Segarra)
People Talkin' (Lucinda Williams)
Black Jack Davey (Traditional)
Hurray For the Riff Raff -- Official, Facebook, Bandcamp, Purchase from This is American Music