If there's one thing that fans of the television show Treme know about Kermit Ruffins, it's that the guy likes to party. As a recurring character on HBO's ode to post-Katrina New Orleans -- which recently finished filming its fourth and final season -- the trumpeter and bandleader often appears on stage with his sly grin and singular voice with one apparent goal in mind: to get the party started. (Note: Couch boogying regularly ensues for viewers at home.)
On his forthcoming release, We Partyin' Traditional Style! (out May 28), Ruffins sticks to what he does best with covers of late 19th- and early 20th-century New Orleans classics like "When The Saints Go Marching In" and his hero Louis Armstrong's signature tune "When It's Sleepy Time Down South."
But despite its happy-go-lucky title, the album also has its mournful moments. Ruffins pours himself into a bittersweet version of the traditional ballad "Careless Love." And while listening to Ruffins' original and upbeat "Treme Second Line," it's hard not to think of the recent Mother's Day second-line shooting, which occurred in the 7th Ward of New Orleans, a neighborhood adjacent to Treme.
Audio for this feature is no longer available. Listen to Kermit Ruffins speaking on Soundcheck about his role on HBO's "Treme."
Watch Kermit Ruffins performing on "Treme" (begins at the 1:11 mark):