Kermit Ruffins: We Partying Traditional Style (Basin Street)

Kermit Ruffins, We Partying Traditional Style, album cover

It may have been the Beatles whose experimentation from album to album raised the expectation that recording musicians always had to do something different or unexpected with each new project. This idea has led to many more bad records than good. Kermit Ruffins doesn’t buy this. When a Ruffins record get cued up, listeners know that there will be swinging standards, a couple originals that are a world within themselves, and maybe a newer (as in 21st Century) sounding cut for the younger set and the ladies in the house. And Kermit does that so well, it rarely becomes trite. The new record, We Partying Traditional Style, is a New Orleans party on CD. Given that nobody parties better or with more charismatic exuberance than Kermit, the record sounds like an evening at Sidney’s or the Speakeasy. “Chinatown My Chinatown” ends with a rave up climax that starts the record off right. “When It’s Sleepy Time Down South” shows the warmth and tone of Kermit’s singing and playing and demonstrates that his take on Louis Armstrong is the current closest to the original. As its title indicates, “Treme Second Line” is an old time strut with the King of Treme Shannon Powell showing everybody the real meaning of St. Philip Street. Even “When the Saints Go Marching In,” a song that deserves a moratorium in terms of recording, has an energy that rarely charges this warhorse. Put on We Partying Traditional Style and you will undoubtedly end up doing the same.