Hurray for the Riff Raff

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Hurray for the Riff Raff
HFTRR 4 (CREDIT- Sarrah Danziger).jpg
Alynda Segarra, the band's frontwoman, in 2016
Background information
OriginNew Orleans, Louisiana, United States
Years active2007-present
LabelsATO Records
Associated actsWhy Are We Building Such a Big Ship, Brown Bag Stagglers, Dead Man Street Orchestra, Sam Doores & the Tumbleweeds
MembersAlynda Segarra
Jordan Hyde: Guitarist
Charlie Ferguson: Drums
Sarah Goldstone: Keys
Justin Kimmel: Bass
Kellen Harrison: Bass
Past membersYosi Perlstein
David Jamison

Hurray for the Riff Raff is an Americana band from New Orleans, Louisiana. It was formed by Alynda Segarra, a singer-songwriter from the Bronx, New York, after she had moved to New Orleans in 2007.

As Segarra's project, the group originally performed different styles of folk music while releasing several albums independently. Since signing with ATO Records, the band has released the critically acclaimed studio albums Small Town Heroes (2014) and The Navigator (2017), featuring a more distinctive and comprehensive Americana sound.[1]


Alynda Segarra[edit]

Segarra was raised by her aunt Nereida in the Bronx where she developed an early appreciation for doo-wop and Motown. She is an American rock musician of Puerto Rican heritage.[2] Her mother is former New York City Deputy Mayor Ninfa Segarra.[3]

Segarra became a regular attendee of hardcore punk shows at ABC No Rio when she was young.[4] She left her home in the Bronx at age 17, spending time crossing North America, hopping freight trains.[4]

Dead Man Street Orchestra[edit]

During this time, around 2007, Segarra became a part of the Dead Man Street Orchestra, a band that was documented in a photo essay by Time Magazine in 2007.[5]

Musical career[edit]

Hurray for the Riff Raff at Haldern Pop Festival 2017.

After two self-released albums, 2008's It Don't Mean I Don't Love You and 2010's Young Blood Blues, Hurray for the Riff Raff released a self-titled CD composed of Segarra's favorite songs from those records on Loose Music in Europe on March 21, 2011. Tracks from the band's debut release received airplay on BBC Radio 2 and BBC 6 Music.

In February 2011, the band were featured in an article in The Times, based around the HBO TV series, Treme, with their track "Daniella" being listed in their selection of New Orleans' essential songs.[6]

In May 2012, Hurray for the Riff Raff released Look Out Mama on their own label, Born to Win Records. No Depression said it "sounds like something The Band would’ve had playing on a Victorola while making Music From Big Pink in Woodstock."[7]

Loose Music released Look Out Mama in Europe on August 20, 2012. The album was recorded in Nashville, Tennessee at The Bomb Shelter Studios and produced by Andrija Tokic (Alabama Shakes).[8] The record features "End of the Line," a song about a house where Segarra and her friends would meet in the Holy Cross, New Orleans neighborhood.[9]

Hurray for the Riff Raff released a covers album called My Dearest Darkest Neighbor on July 1, 2013 through Mod Mobilian Records and This Is American Music. The album was previously available only as a Kickstarter reward and in limited local release and featured handmade covers.[10][11] Tracks on the record include songs by Townes Van Zandt, Billie Holiday, Gillian Welch, Leadbelly, John Lennon, Lucinda Williams, Joni Mitchell, Hank Williams, and George Harrison—and features Segarra's interpretation of Gillian Welch's "Ruination Day."

Wall Street Journal describes Segarra's singing: "She has a subtle, expressive voice that she wraps around songs that draw on the sounds and styles of the American South, and her lyrics often takes unconventional tack on traditional subjects."[12]

Spin previewed a video of their song "St. Roch Blues".[13]

In February 2014, Hurray for the Riff Raff had their ATO Records debut, Small Town Heroes.[14] The record features original songs all written by Segarra except "St. Roch Blues" co-written by Segarra and Sam Doores, and features fiddler Yosi Perlstein, keyboard player Casey McAllister, and two members of The Deslondes: Sam Doores on guitar and Dan Cutler on bass.

Describing Segarra's music, NPR says "Segarra's morning-after alto might be the least showy great voice to hit the national scene this year."[15]

In early July 2016, the band played the Danish festival of Roskilde, to an enthusiastic audience.[16]

In December 2016, they announced a new record, 'The Navigator' on Pitchfork with the first single "Rican Beach." The album was released on March 10, 2017 on ATO Records,[17] and was favourably reviewed by the New York Times as a concept album regarding her return to her personal roots.[18]

Musical style[edit]

Segarra draws inspiration from cult favorite Rodriguez, a Mexican-American who translated working-class stories from Detroit into powerful rock ballads, and the Ghetto Brothers, an underground band from the 1970s South Bronx who stitched Puerto Rican nationalist messages into a rough-hewn fabric of Santana and Sly and the Family Stone Afro-Caribbean funk. She reached back to her cultural ancestors in the form of the radical political group the Young Lords and the salsa singer Héctor Lavoe.[citation needed]


Year Title Label
2007 Crossing the Rubicon (EP) Out of Print
2008 It Don't Mean I Don't Love You self-released
2010 Young Blood Blues self-released
2011 Hurray for the Riff Raff Loose Music
2012 Live at 2012 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival
2012 Look Out Mama Born to Win Records / Loose Music
2013 My Dearest Darkest Neighbor Mod Mobilian Records/This Is American Music
2014 Small Town Heroes ATO Records
2017 The Navigator ATO Records

Band Members[edit]

It Don’t Mean I Don’t Love You
Walter McClements : Accordion, fiddle
Aubrey Freeman : Bass
Shae Freeman : Auto Harp, Saw
Aurora Nealand : Soprano Sax
Misha Heil : Drums

Young Blood Blues
Alynda Segarra : Banjo, Guitar
Walter McClements: Accordion, Drums, Bass, Organ
Yosi Perlstein: Fiddle, Drums

Look Out Mama
Alynda Segarra: Guitar
Sam Doores: Drums, guitar, piano, background vocals
Yosi Perlstein: Fiddle, Drums
Dan Cutler: Bass, background vocals

Small Town Heroes
Alynda Segarra: Guitar
Sam Doores: Guitar, drums
Dan Cutler: bass
Yosi Perlstein: fiddle
Casey McCallister: Organ, keys

The Navigator
Alynda Segarra: Guitar, piano
Caitlin Gray : Bass and piano
Jordan Hyde: Guitar
Greg Rogove : Drums
Paul Butler: Keys, guitar
Juan Carlos Chaurand : Congas and bongos


  1. ^ Monger, James Christopher. "Hurray for the Riff Raff: Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved 3 February 2014.
  2. ^ Swenson, John (February 1, 2014). "Radio Zeitgeist: Hurray for the Riff Raff's Alynda Lee Segarra". OffBeat. Retrieved 3 February 2014.
  3. ^ Farber, Jim (March 8, 2017). "Hurray for the Riff Raff's Alynda Segarra Finds Herself in a Concept Album". The New York Times. Retrieved June 8, 2017.
  4. ^ a b Keyes, J. Edward. "eMusic Selects Q&A: Hurray For the Riff Raff". eMusic. Archived from the original on March 15, 2010. Retrieved 3 February 2014.
  5. ^ Heil, James (January 19, 2007). "Time Photo Essay: The Ballad of the Hobo". Time. Retrieved 3 March 2011.
  6. ^ "Hurray for the Riff Raff - The Times". Loose Music. February 1, 2011. Retrieved 3 March 2011.
  7. ^ Gibson, Donald (April 16, 2012). "Hurray for the Riff Raff". No Depression.
  8. ^ Schlansky, Evan (April 23, 2012). "Hurray for the Riff Raff". American Songwriter.
  9. ^ Jed Portman (December 10, 2013). "Premiere: Hurray for the Riff Raff, "End of the Line"". Garden and Gun. Retrieved 3 February 2014.
  10. ^ Hurrayfortheriffraff. "Help Hurray for the Riff Raff Release Our New Album". Kickstarter. Retrieved 3 February 2014.
  11. ^ Fensterstock, Alison (June 12, 2013). "A take on John Lennon's 'Jealous Guy' heralds Hurray for the Riff Raff's new cover CD, due July 1". Times-Picayune. Retrieved 16 June 2013.
  12. ^ Danton, Eric R. (November 26, 2013). "Hurray for the Riff Raff Streams 'I Know It's Wrong (But That's Alright)'". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 3 February 2014.
  13. ^ McGovern, Kyle (January 14, 2014). "Watch Hurray for the Riff Raff Honor New Orleans in 'St. Roch Blues' Video". Spin. Retrieved 3 February 2014.
  14. ^ "ATO Welcomes Hurray for the Riff Raff". ATO Records. June 30, 2013. Retrieved 3 February 2014.
  15. ^ Powers, Ann (January 23, 2014). "Hurray For The Riff Raff's New Political Folk". NPR. Retrieved 3 February 2014.
  16. ^ "Slik husker vi Roskilde 2016". Retrieved 2017-03-10.
  17. ^ "Watch Hurray for the Riff Raff's Video for New Song "Rican Beach"". Pitchfork. 2016-12-05. Retrieved 2017-03-10.
  18. ^ Farber, Jim (2016-03-08). "Hurray for the Riff Raff's Alynda Segarra Finds Herself in a Concept Album".

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]