November 14, 1997 is one of the most important dates in the recent history of New Orleans music. That night, Kermit Ruffins and the Barbecue Swingers played to a packed Tipitina’s — a performance that yielded the following year’s The Barbecue Swingers Live album. That release marked local label Basin Street Records‘ first foray into the New Orleans music scene.
Today, label founder Mark Samuels’ part-time hobby turned full-time endeavor swings steadfast, keeping time in an industry asunder, a true testament to the enduring — and evolving — nature of New Orleans music. In this episode of OffBeat’s Look-Ka Py Py Podcast, Samuels tells of Basin Street’s hectic early days, its hard-fought journey to the present and its plans to let loose for its 15th anniversary in November.
(Spoiler Alert: Kermit’s coming back to Tip’s. To find out when, listen up!)