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Kermit Ruffins: Live at Vaughn’s

Kermit Ruffins, a trumpeter and vocalist who is an institution in New Orleans, recorded his new album during one of his band’s weekly concerts at Vaughan’s, a bar in the Big Easy. The sound he’s going for here is raw, unpolished and gritty-a band caught live at a bar. What he gets instead is an album by a group that itself sounds raw, unpolished and gritty-a bar band caught live and unaware that recording equipment was in the room. The crowd roars with approval, however, probably because there was a special on draught that night.

Yeah, it’s that bad. This music had no business being released. The musicians come off as unrehearsed-even Ruffins, whose trumpeting is unremarkable and whose singing occasionally approaches the right key. If he were a contestant on American Idol, Simon Cowell would have him crying in the preliminaries.

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