Shindig Preview: Hurray For The Riff Raff, J. Roddy Walston, Jonny Fritz, Benjamin Booker

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The Billy Reid + Weather Up Austin Shindig is less than a week away, so if you haven’t RSVP’d to the party yet, be sure to do so here. Also, don’t forget to download the Shindig sampler, featuring 15 tracks from the artists who are playing the Austin event on March 12-13.

To further whet your appetite for this musical fiesta, here’s a preview of four more artists who are playing Day 1 of the festivities. And check out our rundown of other Shindig artists like Jessica Lea Mayfield and Rhett Miller of Old 97’s here.

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Hurray for the Riff Raff

We can’t get enough of our March/April cover artists Hurray for the Riff Raff. The New Orleans folk-blues group is led by Alynda Lee Segarra, a New York City born singer-songwriter who got her start busking in various New Orleans street bands, including the Dead Man’s Street Orchestra. Shortly after she began writing her own original songs, Segarra teamed up with fiddle player Yosi Pearlstein to form Hurray for the Riff Raff. The band recently released their sixth album, Small Town Heroes, which has received widespread critical acclaim. This will be the band’s third year at SXSW.

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J. Roddy Walston and the Business

Once the subject of a New York Times profile piece about their van “The Diaper,” an old church van with all logos still intact, these Baltimoreans are back for their second year at SXSW and we’re sure they won’t disappoint. J. Roddy Walston and the band are known for their absolutely mad live show. Proof: during a show on a boat off the coast of Manhattan, Walston finished a set by throwing his piano bench out of a window and into the East River. The band released their third full-length, Essential Tremors, in late 2013. The title comes from a nervous system disorder affecting Walston that causes his hands to shake at random.

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Jonny Fritz

Formerly known as Jonny Corndog, the Nashville-based Fritz is bringing his own brand of country to SXSW this year. His 2013 release Dad Country was lauded for its moments of humor, easygoing feel and emotional rawness. The album was written about the year that Fritz spent trying to salvage a crumbling relationship. It took a darker turn from his 2011 release as Jonny Corndog, Down on the Bikini Line. Fritz often comes with a strong backing band: he frequently plays with Wylie Gelber, Griffin Goldsmith and Tay Strathairn of Dawes. In addition to his work as a songwriter and musician, Fritz runs a leatherwork business, selling handmade, personalized guitar straps and dog collars.

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Benjamin Booker

A man of which the Internet knows (almost) naught, Benjamin Booker is the artist sure to bring the most mystery to this year’s Shindig. The young singer-songwriter moved to New Orleans from his home state of Florida to pursue music. Booker’s sound is a well-mixed musical cocktail of punk, folk, and New Orleans blues. He’s got a big year ahead, with performances scheduled at several festivals this year, including the Newport Folk Festival, Forecastle and Atlanta’s Shaky Knees Festival.

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