Shilpa Ray & Her Happy Hookers, Alla, Pezzettino | Empty Bottle | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader
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Shilpa Ray & Her Happy Hookers, Alla, Pezzettino 

When: 2009
Price: $8
Shilpa Ray has lived out the kind of archetypal rock ’n’ roll tale we all know well—feisty girl heads to the big city with her talent and a dream—but her version has a few twists. Raised in a strict Hindu family in New Jersey, Ray plays the harmonium, a hand-pumped free-reed organ common in Indian music. She went from the open mike at New York’s Sidewalk Cafe to fronting the beloved but now bygone Beat the Devil in short order. Now she’s touring under her own name, backed by a group called the Happy Hookers and armed with her epic, romantic, slurring, moaning, careening voice—think Patti Smith meets handful of Seconal—and the pulsing purr of that harmonium. Allá and Pezzettino open. —Jessica Hopper



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