Along with his Barbecue Swingers, Ruffins' music sounds as if it could be heard drifting from a riverboat on muddy water or from a cobblestoned street in the French Quarter. Ruffins plays trumpet like his idol Armstrong, but he also sings in a manner quite like the jazz giant.
Ruffins credits his fascination to the first time he heard the singular sound of Armstrong's trumpet drifting from a jukebox, on the song "When You're Smiling," when he was 19 or 20. From that moment, he was stricken.
New Orleans jazz hit a pinnacle with Louis Armstrong's sound and this set by Ruffins and his slow smoked Swingers follows the style closely for three of the four songs in the set. Only for a cover of "At Last," the Etta James classic does the taste of etouffee leave your mouth for a moment as things slow down for a slow dance number.
As Ruffins says to lead off this rollicking slice of Dixieland, "All aboard!"