Who: Alynda Lee Segarra is a singer-songwriter of Puerto Rican descent who ran away from her home in the Bronx at the age of 17. After some aimless travel, she found herself in New Orleans, and, in a series of events that reads like a Mark Twain novel, the singer quickly found herself playing the washboard alongside a group of local musicians called the Dead Man's Street Orchestra before picking up the banjo and deciding to write songs herself. Now she's the leader of her own gang of musicians whose accordion, harmonica, and brushed snare drum compliment her wistful folk-pop perfectly. While her New York roots filter through with touches of Motown and a love for doo-wop-indebted performances, Segarra has also incorporated elements of bluegrass, country, blues, and contemporary folk. On her forthcoming sophomore effort, Small Town Heroes, the lyrical subject matter is equally expansive, with songs that include a paean to her newfound home in New Orleans' Ninth Ward ("End of the Line") as well as a bit of feminist storytelling ("The Body Electric.") And she does it all barefoot and with a PBR close at hand.
Sounds Like: Gillian Welch, Lucinda Williams, Cat Power
Where To Start: "Look Out Mama" is an ode to the family Segarra ran away from and shows what she's picked up along the way: specifically, a harmonica, a violin, and a backyard trailer where she james with her friends.