New Orleans-based indie folk outfit Hurray for the Riff Raff was formed by singer/songwriter/banjo player Alynda Lee Segarra, a Bronx-raised Puerto Rican troubadour who left home at 17 to ride the rails and eventually landed in the Big Easy. After honing her skills on the washboard with a gang of train-yard musicians called the Dead Man's Street Orchestra, she picked up the banjo that a close friend had given her and began writing her own songs. While Segarra, drummer/violinist Yosi Pearlstein, and bass player David Maclay served as the foundation for Hurray for the Riff Raff's signature blend of folk-blues and Southern gothic Americana, the trio was often rounded out by a rotating cast of accordion, guitar, organ, and musical saw players.
The band self-released its first two full-lengths, 2008's It Don't Mean I Don't Love You and 2010's Young Blood Blues. An eponymous third full-length arrived in 2011 on the Loose Music label. Look Out Mama arrived in 2012, followed by a move to ATO Records in 2014 for Small Town Heroes. On their sixth full-length album, 2017's The Navigator, Segarra traced a line through her Latin and Caribbean roots while gauging the political climate for immigrants in America. ~ James Christopher Monger