Hurray For The Riff Raff

Hurray For The Riff Raff

Ron Gallo, Becca Mancari

Wed · May 3, 2017

Doors: 7:00 pm / Show: 8:00 pm

$17.00 - $20.00

This event is 18 and over

Hurray For The Riff Raff
Hurray For The Riff Raff
Hurray For The Riff Raff is Alynda Lee Segarra, but in many ways it's much more than that: it's a young woman leaving her indelible stamp on the American folk tradition. If you're listening to her new album, Small Town Heroes, odds are you're part of the riff raff, and these songs are for you.

"It's grown into this bigger idea of feeling like we really associate with the underdog," says Segarra, who came to international attention in 2012 with Look Out Mama. The album earned her raves from NPR and the New York Times to Mojo and Paste, along with a breakout performance at the 2013 Newport Folk Festival, which left American Songwriter "awestruck" and solidified her place at the forefront of a new generation of young musicians celebrating and reimagining American roots music. "We really feel at home with a lot of worlds of people that don't really seem to fit together," she continues, "and we find a way to make them all hang out with our music. Whether it's the queer community or some freight train-riding kids or some older guys who love classic country, a lot of folks feel like mainstream culture isn't directed at them. We're for those people."

Segarra, a 26-year-old of Puerto Rican descent whose slight frame belies her commanding voice, grew up in the Bronx, where she developed an early appreciation for doo-wop and Motown from the neighborhood's longtime residents. It was downtown, though, that she first felt like she found her people, traveling to the Lower East side every Saturday for punk matinees at ABC No Rio. "Those riot grrrl shows were a place where young girls could just hang out and not have to worry about feeling weird, like they didn't belong," Segarra says of the inclusive atmosphere fostered by the musicians and outsider artists who populated the space. "It had such a good effect on me to go to those shows as a kid and feel like somebody in a band was looking out for me and wanted me to feel inspired and good about myself."

The Lower East Side also introduced her to travelers, and their stories of life on the road inspired her to strike out on her own at 17, first hitching her way to the west coast, then roaming the south before ultimately settling in New Orleans. There, she fell in with a band of fellow travelers, playing washboard and singing before eventually learning to play a banjo she'd been given in North Carolina. "It wasn't until I got to New Orleans that I realized playing music was even possible for me," she explains. "The travelers really taught me how to play and write songs, and we'd play on the street all day to make money, which is really good practice. You have to get pretty tough to do that, and you put a lot of time into it."

"The community I found in New Orleans was open and passionate. The young artists were really inspiring to me," she says. "Apathy wasn't a part of that scene. And then the year after I first visited, Katrina happened, and I went back and saw the pain and hardship that all of the people who lived there had gone through. It made we want to straighten out my life and not wander so much. The city gave had given me an amazing gift with music, and it made me want to settle there and be a part of it and help however I could."

Many of the songs on Small Town Heroes reflect that decision and her special reverence for the city. She bears witness to a wave of violence that struck the St. Roch neighborhood in the soulful "St. Roch Blues;" yearns for a night at BJ's Bar in the Bywater in "Crash on the Highway;" and sings of her home in the Lower Ninth Ward on "End of the Line." "That neighborhood and particularly the house I lived in there became the nucleus of a singer songwriter scene in New Orleans," she explains. "'End Of The Line' is my love song to that whole area and crew of people."

The scope of the album is much grander than just New Orleans, though, as Segarra mines the deep legacies and contemporizes the rich variety of musical forms of the American South for the age of Trayvon Martin and Wendy Davis. "Delia"s gone but I'm settling the score," she sings with resolute menace on "The Body Electric," a feminist reimagining of the traditional murder ballad form that calls on everything from Stagger Lee to Walt Whitman. She juxtaposes pure country pop with the dreams and nightmares that come with settling down with just one person in "I Know It's Wrong (But That's Alright)," while album opener "Blue Ridge Mountain" is an Appalachian nod to Maybelle Carter.

NPR has said that Hurray for the Riff Raff's music "sweeps across eras and genres with grace and grit," and that's never been more true than on 'Small Town Heroes.' These songs belong to no particular time or place, but rather to all of us. These songs are for the riff raff.
Ron Gallo
Ron Gallo
An Open Letter from Ron Gallo to Humanity:
(Shredding. Speaking. Writing. Thinking. Reading.) I straddle the fence between two mindsets –
1. The world is completely fucked and,
2. The universe is inside you.

I have probably spent too much time being pissed off and upset with humanity; how far we’ve let ourselves go. Just another millennial guy with large hair trying in earnest to take on the weight of the world; taking passionate and hypercritical walks down city blocks, somehow totally aware and above the illusion, overflowing with informed negativity to destroy the illusion and only feeding it.

Besides a couple of years of emotional and mental turmoil, loss, confusion, breakdown and internal growth what did all of that ever get me? Well, it gave me this record called “HEAVY META” and it is the first few findings from my guerilla treasure hunt for bullshit, both outside and within. Ethos meets pathos.

There is nothing about reading this bio that will achieve its only goal - to further acquaint you with the music. I suggest you put the phone down, come to a show and make up your own mind. You work hard, or don’t work at all; but the search for purpose and meaning is real and the need to relate, release and rage is just as visceral. And though I can’t control what you think, maybe, JUST MAYBE, I can spark some emotion that might unite us in tacit understanding through the language of music – where the words “fuck yeah” say everything.

Just the existence of a biography in someway makes it seem like my life is more interesting than your life - far from the truth. I am more interested in YOU, and how we connect that to the WE; that is the reason why I put this stuff out there. These songs - whether they’re about the time I saw a mother’s cigarette ash falling onto her child’s head in a stroller, or the wars we start within ourselves or, the domestication of punks - they immortalize images and moments in this singular existence that seem to hold a more universal truth than what is taken at face value. And for all this I have nothing but gratitude for the process that lead me to create this album - the 4,929,647 album of all time.
RG

HEAVY META LP
...is 11 tracks of lyrical confrontation and laughter for cynics laid down roughly on a bed of fuzz, chaotic structures and primal sounds evoked from a red Fender jaguar electric guitar - there is bass, there are drums and not much else besides the occasional icing (no artificial colors or dyes). It’s not comfortable and easily pinpointed and I’m sure that will create an issue for the desire for neat little boxes we have grown to love. On my shelf currently there is a Mahalia Jackson record sandwiched between “Funhouse” by The Stooges and Minor Threat. Lately on long drives, we’ve been deep into the Eckhart Tolle audiobook for “A New Earth”, a variety of comedy podcasts (specify), our friends and bands in our new adopted home of Nashville, stand-up specials and revisiting 90’s hits - oh, and listening to our own record a lot to make sure the mixes are right on car speakers. My bedroom window curtains are orange. We tour in a maroon SUV. The band, RG3, consists of Joe Bisirri on bass and Dylan Sevey on drums.

If you’ve made it this far, now might be a good time to go over some pretty boring backstory to create further context for the “assets” of my “brand”:

I was in a band called Toy Soldiers for about 8 years that started as a drum/guitar duo between my longtime friend from middle school and I, fluctuated into a 12- piece freak show and then eventually a solid 5-piece rock and roll group. I consider that brand my musical training wheels. It was the reason one night in 2007 I realized in a low ceiling south Philadelphia basement that maybe one day I could be a singer. We barreled around the country many times, made many mistakes, had good times and eventually played our last show in August of 2014. Shortly thereafter I started a label called American Diamond Recordings and put out a record called “RONNY”, the cover is my face with a slice of pizza on it and it sounds like an island vacation. I didn’t know what I was doing when I made it. I still don’t know what I’m doing and I plan on keeping it that way.

The only thing I do know is that I want to use music to reflect the times and as a primary outlet for me to become a total psychopath on stage, challenge myself and talk about potentially heavy real world things, call you out, then maybe we can even hug after the show. I am forever grateful for this life and anyone that ever comes to a show, buys a record and wants to have a real conversation. I have no idea where things are going, but I know it’s best to grow with them and be okay with whatever happens. As for right now, it seems like a great time to WAKE UP, put all of ourselves into it, acknowledge our own personal limitless value and beauty and if I can be any part in that, well then, awesome. Thank you.
Becca Mancari
Becca Mancari
Becca Mancari is a traveler. She's lived everywhere — Staten Island, Florida, Virginia, India, Pennsylvania — and she's collected plenty of tales along the way, spinning the sounds and stories of the modern world into songs that mix the organic stomp of American roots music with the approach and attitude of raw rock & roll.

This is personal music, performed by a storyteller who's lived and loved. Born in Staten Island to an Italian-Irish preacher and a Puerto Rican mother, Becca spent her childhood moving around the East Coast. It's no surprise, then, that she found herself drawn to a group of train hoppers in central Virginia, where she relocated as a teenager to attend college. Surrounded by fellow travelers, Becca began to make music — not the kind of music she made during her earlier years, when she sang in her father's church — but music for front porches, for bonfires, for slow dances and road trips, and train rides and new romances. The sound was inspired by everything from Bob Dylan's Highway 61 Revisited to Neil Young's Harvest Moon, not to mention the Appalachian folk music that her Virginia friends played. It was bold and broad, and it sounded like Becca Mancari.
Venue Information:
Mercy Lounge
1 Cannery Row
Nashville, TN, 37203
http://mercylounge.com/