I suppose it is possible to have a bad time in New Orleans, but my thinking is that you’d have to make a very concerted effort. Last night we took a taxi out to the Bywater to catch Kermit Ruffins and the Barbeque Swingers at their usual Thursday night gig at Vaughan’s. I don’t know if I can do justice to Vaughan’s with my poor powers of observation and limited vocabulary. I can only propose that for twenty-four hours I thought that the Candlelight Lounge possessed the coolest, most authentic atmosphere of any place I had ever visited, but after spending a night at Vaughan’s the Candlelight now seems like an Applebee’s (although I would go back there in a heartbeat). It’s just incredible than you can toss in $10 and stand within ten feet of a world class musician like Kermit Ruffins. The mood inside was electric and the temperature was swelterin, which only added to the mood. The wood of the bar felt almost saturated with moisture and history and it was easy to transport yourself into the past. I was making the point to my friend Dave the other day that you couldn’t listen to Van Morrison’s Carnival and Into the Mystic back to back and still have the blues. In much the same way Kermit Ruffins playing Do Watcha Want should put the drug companies out of business. There were only two short-comings really. One was the trendy beautiful young crowd that has started to flock there after Treme. Steve, being a good soul, talked me out of throwing two idiotic couples out the window for witlessly yammering away about their vapid bourgeois lives while Ruffins was playing his heart out. The other problem was that that utter douchebag Anthony Zimmern from the Travel Channel was there filming a segment, which required countless delays, false starts and do-overs, which obviously messed with the flow of the show. There was the requisite red beans and rice at midnight, and Ruffins himself whipped up a mountain of delicious barbeque featuring rabbit and raccoon. Unforgettable.