Celebrating 33 years of music, ideas, & community on the radio
eTown: Hurray for the Riff Raff / Peter One

This week, we’re welcoming Hurray For The Riff Raff to eTown Hall! This show features a special acoustic duo version of the group consisting of Alynda Segarra and accompanying guitarist Johnny Wilson. Sharing the stage is Peter One, originally from Africa and now located in Nashville. Nick also has a sit down with members of the Green Grad Buffs who share their ideas about re-purposing a defunct coal-fired power plant in Denver.

Hurray for the Riff Raff

Alynda Mariposa Segarra was born and raised in the Bronx, which they left at the age of seventeen, running away from everything and everyone they knew, hopping freight trains or hitch-hiking across the country. In 2007 Segarra moved to New Orleans and formed Hurray for the Riff Raff. Hurray for the Riff Raff have released eight studio albums since then, with their forthcoming album, The Past Is Still Alive, set to be released on February 23rd, 2024. The Past Is Still Alive is an album that found Segarra exploring the weight of their own personal history as well as that of American culture. It’s already been called one of the most anticipated albums of the year by NPR’s All Songs Considered. Alynda Segarra was recently named the recipient of The People’sVoice Award from the International Folk Music Awards, which honors social and political commentary in music and beyond.

Peter One

Born Pierre-Evrard Tra—Peter One grew up in Bonoua, a small town in southeastern Cote d’Ivoire. Growing up listening to and playing music, Peter developed stylistic affinities for African troubadours, which he blended with the chordal and harmonic lushness of some of his favorite American artists. In 1985, he recorded his first album, Our Garden Needs Its Flowers, along with Jess Sah Bi. They played for presidents and first ladies, and their song, “African Chant” was used by the BBC to soundtrack Nelson Mandela’s release from prison in 1990. In the mid-90s Peter moved to The United States, eventually settling in Nashville where he worked as a nurse. In 2018, Our Garden was re-issued by the Awesome Tapes From Africa label, garnering him new acclaim and a following which led to Peter signing his first major label deal and the release of his acclaimed 2023 solo album, Come Back To Me.

Green Grad Buffs

Thomas Hill, Tatiana Huet de Bacellar, Patrick Fegan, Emily Cummins, and Andrew Bayliss are graduate students from the University of Colorado, Boulder. Their team, the “Green Grad Buffs” recently won AES’ 2023 Energy Innovation Challenge, which challenged 46 teams from across the country to redesign energy infrastructure to catalyze local support through community benefits. Their winning project focused on revitalizing the existing steam turbine infrastructure at the Zuni Power Plant in Denver. Their design helps displace natural gas use for peaker-plant generation and local heating–enhancing grid flexibility and resilience. Representing the Green Grad Buffs are Emily Cummins and Thomas Hill.