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June 1998

Kermit Ruffins
The Barbecue Swingers Live
Basin Street Records

Recorded live at New Orleans legendary club, Tipitina's, Kermit Ruffins' fourth disc as leader and first on the new Basin Street Records label finds the trumpeter in his element. Ruffins personifies his home town-warm, hip yet casual-and here he's in front of a crowd of loyal supporters. "Thank you music lovers," says Ruffins with his ever-present smile in his voice following the relaxed opening number "Chicken and Dumplings." Ruffins and his Barbecue Swingers-trombonist Corey Henry, pianist Emile Vinette, bassist Kevin Morris and drummer Jerry Anderson-mix up the show moving from the traditional "St. James Infirmary" to a hip-hop funk groove of "Peep this Groove Out," complete with a rap. Ruffins returns to his roots as a former member of the ReBirth Brass Band and revisits the group's anthem "Do Whatcha Wanna." Whatever Ruffins chooses to throw on the grill, he seasons it with New Orleans and bastes it with sincerity and swing. It may not be filet mignon, but it sure is tasty.

Originally published in June 1998
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