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The Mint, a small music venue established in 1937, was the birthplace of some of the most recognized names in music. Musicians such as Stevie Wonder, Ray Charles and Natalie Cole have performed at this low-key spot on Pico Boulevard. Louisiana-based folk/indie band, Hurray for the Riff Raff, can be added to that list after they hit the stage with musician Sam Doores on Wednesday night.
Lead singer Alynda Lee Segarra was quiet in demeanor as she tuned up her acoustic guitar and got a sense of the venue. It was the band’s first time performing in Los Angeles and they brought a refreshing sound of New Orleans to the area. Heavily influenced by country and her background in the New Orleans music scene, it was only fitting that the band opened their set with a cover of “Little Black Star,” written and sung by American folk singer John Jacob Niles.
Segarra has her own unique, melodic presence on stage and was backed by the talented fiddler Yosi Pearlstein. Sam Doores, lead guitarist and singer of country/folk band Sam Doores and the Tumbleweeds, shined as he played both guitar and drums on a few of Seggara’s songs. As if two instruments weren’t enough, Doores delivered an impressive harmonica solo on Segarra’s “Too Much of a Good Thing.”
Doores left the stage and Segarra and Pearlstein slowed down the set with acoustic performances. Many songs were filled with messages of life on the road and her appreciation for the Southern states. It wasn’t much of a surprise when the crowd called the two musicians back for an encore performance. They played “Bricks,” a song about how love is the strength and stability that keeps one grounded during times of chaos.
The talent in this band is nothing but promising. In many ways, the band exemplifies the message in one of their songs, “Slow Walk.” In this song, Segarra sings about working your way to the top and the struggles that one may face while doing so. After watching Wednesday night’s performance, I suspect that this band isn’t very far from reaching the top.