Kermit Ruffins & the Barbecue Swingers

The Barbecue Swingers Live

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It is debatable whether this performance really needed to be released. Trumpeter Kermit Ruffins is a crowd pleaser who loves to shout out cliches to the audience (which in this case is quite excitable), takes mundane vocals, and plays decent but not particularly memorable trumpet. With his regular band (trombonist Corey Henry who takes an unfortunate rap on "Peep This Groove Out," pianist Emile Vinette, bassist Kevin Morris, and drummer Jerry Anderson) during a night at New Orleans' Tipitina's, Ruffins succeeds in getting the crowd riled up. The main problem is that a lot of the excitement does not translate well to disc. Ruffins performs basic originals, "St. James Infirmary," "Killing Me Softly with His Song, " and a slow and soulful "The Star Spangled Banner," but his crowd pleasing antics get tiring after awhile and the mixture of trad jazz with hip hop is eccentric and sometimes uncomfortable.

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