SummerStageNYC Presents Hurray for the Riff Raff Event Review

Hurray for the Riff Raff thumb

Photo Courtesy of FDRMX

Hurray for the Riff Raff opened for Dr. John and the Night Trippers at SummerStageNYC in Central Park this past Saturday, however, after the New Orleans folk rock group played their killer set the show was cut short. Both social media  and members of the opening band reported that Dr. John was taken directly to the hospital from the gig before he could play, after feeling ill.

Although an unfortunate turn of events, Hurray for the Riff Raff’s opening set was still one of the best SummerStage has seen yet this season. The group opened with two songs from their album “Small Town Heroes” released in February. The first, “The New SF Bay Blues,” is a tune based on Jesse Fuller’s “San Francisco Bay Blues” and is a farewell to a broken down old tour van. “Blue Ridge Mountain” followed close behind, a song full of clawhammer banjo and fiddle. People were mingling, drinking beers and casually talking as they enjoyed the honky tonkin’ music on a day that had at first seemed to hold the foreboding promise of either rain or extreme humidity.

Look Out Mama” is the title track off of Hurray for the Riff Raff’s 2012 album and the third song of the band’s SummerStage set. Full of Cajun fiddle, Hammond B3 organ, and upright bass, this instrumental jam led into frontwoman Alynda Lee Segarra’s “Yodel ay hee’s,” harkening back to the folk femmes of the 1960’s. Many of Segarra’s songs bring to mind a type of Joan Baez style, what with her husky contralto voice and her feminist lyrics brimming with lessons for all of us. “Ode to John and Yoko,” a fairy tale love song, “Lake of Fire,” a country-surf song with a “9th Wave” style backbeat, and “Little Black Star” were all songs off of this album that Segarra included in her set.

Other tunes, such as “People Talkin’” came from the 2013 album “My Dearest Darkest Neighbor,” but the majority of the summer event’s tunes can be found on the band’s latest album. Regardless of which song, the rollicking piano, Hammond, and Roads keyboard sounds, Yosi Perlstein’s sprightly Cajun fiddle, and Segarra’s amazing vocals drew the crowd in, pumping them up for more romping NOLA music.

Check out a review of Hurray for the Riff Raff’s latest album “Small Town Heroes” on FDRMX’s Encyclopedia of Music. Read about the 2014 SummerStageNYC August 2nd show cancellation here. See Hurray for the Riff Raff’s SummerStageNYC Presents 2014 set list below as well as a slideshow gallery of photos from the event. Find out more about Hurray for the Riff Raff here

1. The New SF Bay Blues
2. Blue Ridge Mountain
3. Look Out Mama
4. Slow Walk
5. I Know It’s Wrong (But That’s Alright)
6. Here It Comes
7. the Body Electric
8. Crash on the Highway
9. Lake of Fire
10. I Know You
11. Ode to John & Yoko
12. Down By the River
13. People Talkin’
14. Little Black Star