Kermit Ruffins - "Live at Vaughan’s" - Basin Street Records - 2007
An album that had to be made, if for no other reason than to let the world know what New Orleans has known for a long time.
There are few absolute truths in this world, things that can always be counted on, and in New Orleans, Kermit at Vaughan’s on Thursday is one of those truths, as Ruffins and the Barbeque Swingers always deliver a funky good time inside the little barroom at the corner of Dauphine and Lesseps deep in the Bywater.
“We are live at Vaughan’s,” Ruffins slyly proclaims in the recordings intro, “it must be Thursday night,” before easing into Louis Armstong’s “Skokiaan.”
As his trumpet glides in the number, the recording captures the essence of a Thursday night at Vaughan’s – you can feel the tiny bar cramped and crowded -- packed to the gills as the band is crammed in the corner to make whatever room that can be found for people to dance. You can smell a pot Kermit’s red beans stewing, you know it’s hot and sweaty inside the bar, and frankly, you don’t care. Why would you when listening to that horn blow? You know, even though a live recording was planned this night, he was an hour late for the gig. It still doesn’t matter.
Here is Kermit at his carefree, inimitable best, singing “I got the world on the string,” making us do the “Palm Court Strut.”
As our ambassador is proud of saying, “Happy Thursday, ya’ll.”