Thursday, February 20, 2014

Hurray for the Riff Raff

Alynda Lee Segarra's band, Hurray for the Riff Raff, is one of my favorite New Orleans music groups. I found them hanging out at the Circle Bar one night when I was in high school. There were maybe eight people in the room, a small room, if you don't know the Circle Bar. Dark and so old with red velvet somewhere, fraying with the beer smells. I don't remember who she was playing with, but when Alynda sang Daniella, I would have followed her anywhere.

I learned later that she was from the Bronx, had run away as a kid and spent some time living on freight trains, that sort of life. She made it to New Orleans eventually and played washboard in The Dead Man's Street Orchestra before starting her own band with her banjo. After the Circle Bar, I heard her all over New Orleans and she became a living icon to me. When I was in college, I wore ripped colored stockings and men's collared shirts and thought of her.

Now her band travels the country in a van, and look, they occasionally appear on NPR! Make your day better and listen to this liveset along with whatever you're doing:

images by Ryan Hodgson-Rigsbee, Last FM, and Hurray for the Riff Raff

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