"The most important thing is how much I like the music" says Ruffins- "From the time I wake up in the morning, I'm just all hyped for the gig late that night."
Born and raised in New Orleans, Kermit first gained recognition back in 1982 when he started the ReBirth Brass Blues Band with a high school classmate. Eventually choosing to go in different musical directions, Kermit left the ReBirth blues band after an amicable split and formed the Barbecue Swingers. For this album however he choose to put together a special group of talented musicians reflecting both modern and traditional jazz. Included, among others, are his long time trombonist Corey Henry, and two members of Harry Connick, Jr's ensemble Arthur Latin on drums and percussion and Neal Caine on Upright Bass.
Ruffin claim's Louis Armstrong as one of his hero's and his main inspiration and as you listening to Kermit blowing through the Pops favorite "Ole Miss Blues" and scatting down on "Keep Walkin" that fact comes clear.
Ruffin's version of Jack I'm Mellow really cooks with Kermit having a ball on the vocals, Dr. Michael White shines on the Clarinet work and Corey Henry works the "front line" on the Trombone. The One-A-Cord Gospel Singers are heavenly in Bye and Bye backed up by the Trombone, Clarinet, and Banjo, and the Kermit original composition "Meet me at the Second Line" brings you to the heart of Bourbon Street with outstanding horn work and some get down scat vocals.
On this CD, Ruffin has put together a nice mix of old traditional classics with some contemporary tunes and a touch of Gospel just for the fun of it. Anyway you cut it though- as long as you like working the "second line" this album is for you-New Orleans jazz all the way with something for everyone.
By the way if you happen to be in New Orleans make sure that you stop by Kermit's club in the historic Treme neighborhood of New Orleans- located at (you guessed it) -1533 St. Philp Street.