Christmas in New Orleans with Kermit Ruffins

So it turns out December 12th is the date of my first foray into Christmas music this year. It also happens to be the day I put my Christmas lights up – as well as that lit up metallic deer that swivels his head back and forth. Ho ho ho, people!

I trust and hope that a lot of you have been visiting Popdose’s annual month-long immersion into all that is not so good about Christmas music. Jeff and Jason’s Mellowmas series is a required visit this holiday season, so go over and check them out.

As for my family and me – other than daily viewings of Mamma Mia! (we just discovered it, and seriously, we can’t get enough), it’s Kermit Ruffins‘ new Christmas album that is helping us get into that Christmas spirit. It’s good seasonal music like this that helps me shed the layers of stress and anxiety that seem to crop up every December. It’s the Music that pinpoints that part of my brain that absolutely loves the Christmas season – the excitement, the atmosphere, the gathering of loved ones… it certainly helps to have two young daughters bouncing off the walls in anticipation – but it’s also the music that helps me see beyond the dollar signs, and actually enjoy the holiday season.

If you’re from New Orleans, you damn sure know who Kermit Ruffins is. He’s a fixture on the local scene, blowing his trumpet every Thursday night at Vaughns’s, then cooking BBQ for everyone after the gigs. Outside of New Orleans, Kermit may not be a household name, but you’d do yourself good to track down some of his music for some genuine Louisiana flavor.

The Christmas album, Have a Crazy Cool Christmas, has your standard holiday tunes – “Winter Wonderland”, “Silent Night”, “O Christmas Tree”, “Jingle Bells”, “Let It Snow”, “Little Drummer Boy” – all dipped into a jazzy, dixieland, cajun gumbo. And there’s the originals – the title track, and the fun “A Saints Christmas” [mp3] – with the timely Christmas prayer to take the New Orleans Saints all the way to the Super Bowl.

Kermit also takes on this Louis Prima Christmas tune (Prima and the other Louis – Armstrong – are also from New Orleans)…

“What Will Santa Say (When He Finds Everybody Swingin’)”

[audio:KR-swingin.mp3]

Kermit Ruffins is one of the most passionate and talented New Orleans musicians out there today, so pick up his Christmas record  – and feel good about supporting someone who’s stuck with the Crescent City through thick and thin. And if you’re in New Orleans on a Thursday night, stop by Vaughn’s for some tunes and barbecue courtesy of Kermit.

Buy Have A Crazy Cool Christmas

2 thoughts on “Christmas in New Orleans with Kermit Ruffins

  1. Pete:
    Kermit is right — the Saints are going to the Super Bowl!!! I read on ESPN.com that last month, he got a giant fleur-de-lis tattoed across his chest. Maybe I’m biased becase, as you know, Kermit and I have been friends since he and the Rebirth, along with John Cleary, played at our wedding 21 years ago, but I think his Chrismas album will get any joint jumping. And jefito’s right also — go find and buy his live at Vaughan’s ablum for “Ooh-Ooh Child”. And come to New Orleans and see him at Vaughan’s on Thursday nights —

  2. Kermit Ruffins is a badass mofo, and like you, I’ve been enjoying this disc this year. Also essential: His live album, which includes the most gloriously cockeyed version of “Ooh Child” I’ve ever heard.

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