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Kermit Ruffins - Live At Vaughan's

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Album Review

Trumpeter/vocalist Kermit Ruffins is known for his role as a good-time music-maker from New Orleans. Fans who have been at one of his live shows should appreciate this club date of music with his group, the Barbecue Swingers. Tucked in the corner of Vaughan's Bar, Ruffins and friends present a program of contemporary New Orleans struts and shuffles, blues, and R&B. It's evident the crowd is into it, judging by the whoops and hollers in the background. The leader fancies himself more of an entertainer than groundbreaking musician, akin to latter-period Louis Armstrong. The more jammin' numbers are a New Orleans-flavored version of the swing-era classic "Skokiaan"; their signature tune, "Palm Court Strut"; the original "Treme' Second Line"; and an interesting modal take on James Brown's "Talking Loud and Saying Nothing," where the best trumpet playing of Ruffins is heard. Occasionally a synthesizer wash creeps in, less attractive than the electric piano or electric bass guitar accenting an overall modernized, louder approach in order to get across. "Can't Take My Baby Nowhere" is the best 12-bar blues, approaching campiness, and while derivative, the Ruffins original "Drop Me Off in New Orleans" displays the deft rambling shuffle beat commonly associated with the Crescent City. There are a couple of throwaways, particularly Neshia Ruffins' childish vocals on "Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans?" and the closer, "O-o-h Child," a pop/R&B/rap song with arrogant lyrics contradictorily rude and praising. Otherwise, this is a fun set of music best heard in the house, rather than repeated listenings in your house. ~ Michael G. Nastos, Rovi

Customer Reviews

The magic of Vaughan's on CD

I saw Kermit at Vaughan's and it was one of the most fun shows I have ever been to and luckily this CD captures the magic (minus the red beans and rice, but you can’t have everything). If you like old school jazz, you should get this CD!

Kermit is a legend - must hear and see

I agree Kermit Ruffins is the bomb, i highly recommend his music. And that red beans and rice at Vaugan's is tight.

True Bywater Soul

Having friends around the corner from Vaughn's, i make it a point to visit every time i'm in New Orleans. This particular cut represents the true soul of post-Katrina NOLA....down, but still making the world's best party music. Long live the Crescent City.


Born: 1964 in New Orleans, LA

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '90s, '00s

New Orleans-based trumpeter, bandleader, singer, and songwriter Kermit Ruffins is an ever-inventive musician who projects a warmth from the stage. He's got charisma, so as a consequence, he and his bandmates in the Barbecue Swingers are not in danger of overexposing themselves in their native Crescent City. Ruffins, born in 1964 in New Orleans, reminds many people of a sort of modern-day Louis Armstrong, though he's far from becoming the international ambassador of goodwill that Armstrong eventually...
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Top Albums and Songs by Kermit Ruffins

Kermit Ruffins - Live At Vaughan's, Kermit Ruffins
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