Yarn, Hurray for the Riffraff make Dig South stops 

Pickin' folk and hoppin freights


click to enlarge YARN
  • Yarn

w/ The Bushels
Sat. April 13
8:30 p.m.
The Alley
131 Columbus St.

When folks start talking about Brooklyn-based Americana act Yarn, they inevitably make comparisons to the Grateful Dead. Yarn’s Blake Christiana totally understands. The Yarn singer/guitarist is a long-time fan of the Dead’s American Beauty, and his band likes to blend folk, country, and rock in a similarly lively, fleet-footed manner. But, truth be told, they’re a lot closer in sound to the Byrds, who were known in part for frontman Roger McGuinn’s ability to write a crisp, catchy song. So while Christiana’s rootsy finger-picking certainly evokes Jerry Garcia, the arrangements are in the classic pop-rock vein. The friction between the two provides Yarn with enough spark and heat for a Dead-like following. Last year they self-released their fourth full-length, the Kickstarter-supported Almost Home, and in December they followed up with an album of B-sides/outtakes, Leftovers Vol. 2. Even more impressive, Yarn expects to release an album of acoustic tunes in June. As a singer-songwriter, Christiana shares a Jimmy Buffet-like camaraderie with the beaten and downcast, and his empathetic “today’s fucked, here’s to tomorrow” brand of carpe diem is couched in such tuneful songs that they demand your unconditional surrender.

Hurray for the Riff Raff

click to enlarge PROVIDED
  • Provided

7 p.m.
w/ Sam Doores, Riley Downing and the Tumbleweeds (8:30 p.m.), Barefoot Movement (10 p.m.)
Sat. April 13
Redux Contemporary

Hurray for the Riff Raff’s Alynda Lee left the Bronx at the tender age of 17 and hopped freights across America for a couple years. Over the course of those years, she developed a dusty sound somewhere between the old-timey warmth of Gillian Welch and the parched elegance of Jessica Lea Mayfield. She eventually landed in New Orleans playing a washboard in the Dead Man Street Orchestra, soaked up the culture, and began making a name for herself as Hurray for the Riff Raff. In 2007, she released the Crossing the Rubicon EP, followed by 2008’s It Don’t Mean I Don’t Love You. Her smoky delivery has a jazzy sway reminiscent of Jolie Holland, but it’s less sepia-toned and languid. With 2010’s Young Blood Blues, Lee began exploring the same territory trod by Townes Van Zandt. All of this set the stage for Hurray for the Riff Raff’s latest, last year’s Look Out Momma, which was recorded with Andrija Tokic (Alabama Shakes). Despite her youth, Lee’s quite the smoky siren of sonic seduction.

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