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Kermit Ruffins & the BBQ Swingers and Bonerama, 2/19/12

Kermit Ruffins and the Barbecue Swingers
Bonerama  — with Jared Kahn Band (opening act)
Hiro Ballroom at The Maritime Hotel
New York City, NY
February 19, 2012

 

 

Other than the word “new” being in both of their names, both are port cities, and both are hosts to holidays that are pilgrimages for many, New York and New Orleans really do not have that much in common. The climate is entirely different and the spoken dialect could not be more opposite. But in a city as vast as New York, there are people with a taste for virtually everything, not to mention the fact that there are countless New Orleanians that now live in New York and vice versa.

With 1300 miles separating the two celebrated star-on-a-map worthy locations, residents of each typically do not get to join in on their distant cousin’s annual party. So for the past five years — with this year making the sixth — New Orleans’ Mardi Gras celebrations have been brought to New York, putting the class in first class.

On this occasion, there could not have been any more of a way to bring more authentic NOLA than was brought with Kermit Ruffins and Bonerama.

Bonerama is one of the most energetic live shows on the jazz and funk scene. Through the work of their three piece trombone section (Mark Mullins, Craig Klein and Greg Hicks), the imagery alone is mind blowing, but it is the sound that knocks one on his ass when at a Bonerama show.

This is exactly what happened in New York as the literal entourage of a band reeled through standards, without losing the appreciation for a good old fashioned cover song to keep the crowd engaged — such as the Grateful Dead’s “West L.A. Fadeaway” and the the Allman Brothers’ “Whipping Post.”

Kermit Ruffins oozes New Orleans out of every pore of his body. As a trumpeter, he is a brass master that is recognized by peers at the highest level of the game. While still in high school, he co-founded the renowned Rebirth Brass Band and has since become synonymous with New Orleans Jazz music through his post Rebirth solo, BBQ Swingers and most recently,  Treme (the hit HBO series) work.. Through all of this, he still rarely leaves The Big Easy, maintaining a regular Thursday night gig at a modest club.

To say that the New York crowd got more than their money’s worth would be an understatement. They got two of New Orleans’ finest during the Mardi Gras week celebration and the bill was simply there to let the folks know who would be there for the evening because the players were in and out of sets at will, just like it would be at the Howlin’ Wolf or Tipitina’s.

Forgetting the fact that Mardi Gras has lost a good portion of its true meaning to the last century (as many things have),  beads were out in full effect, candies were out, party ruled the night and the crowd was  lost in the moment. For those few hours, everyone was in The Crescent City where the saints go marching in.

 

Bonerama Setlist

courtesy of Scott Bernstein

 

Funky Miracle, I’m In Love Again, She’s Hurting*, Whipping Post*, On Your Way Down*, When My Dreamboat Comes Home#, When You Go To New Orleans#, Less Is Moore%, Let’s Make A Better World > Something You Got, Lost, Can’t You Hear Me Knocking*, Look Out Lonely*, West LA Fadeaway^, Down By The Riverside ^$@

Notes: * with Jon Coward on electric piano :: # w/Kermit Ruffins on trumpet & vocals, Derrick Freeman on drums, Zitu from Kermit’s band on electric piano :: % with Colin Brown on electric piano :: ^ with Jordan Simms on electric piano :: $ with Maurice Edwards on vocals :: @ with Howie Schnee on cowbell

 

Download an audience recording of this show HERE.

(Unfortunately, a full Kermit Ruffins setlist was not available and audience recording of his set was not permitted)

 

Click the thumbnail(s) to view photos from the show by Vernon Webb

 

 

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