Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Overstreet

Hugh Laurie - Let Them Talk

Recommended Posts

Good heavens!

In the professional diagnosis of the music industry, Hugh Laurie ... has come down with a bad case of the blues. ... Warner Music Entertainment said on Monday that it had signed up Mr. Laurie, ... to record an album of New Orleans blues. The album, which does not yet have a release date or a title, will be produced by Joe Henry, who has previously collaborated with Elvis Costello, Loudon Wainwright III and Madeleine Peyroux, and will take advantage of the musical skills that Mr. Laurie occasionally shows off on “House” (not to mention the new Meat Loaf album).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I REALLY hope his "America" song appears as a bonus song or something.

I also hope for a dueling pianos track with Allen Toussaint.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Joe Henry says:

I know, I know. And *he* knows: the woods are strewn with the bodies of screen actors obsessed with being recording artists. (At the same time, mind you, I know just as many musicians who want to act, and do, with varying degrees of success. I could rattle a few off. Won’t.)

But I have heard myself say to Mr. Hugh Laurie: “Look, just because you’re a wildly accomplished actor doesn’t you mean you automatically have nothing to say as a musician. And you’re allowed to ’speak’ if it’s meaningful to you -and you’ll speak to the ones who care top listen.”

And I meant it. He’s a gifted and lovely man, a dedicated musician; and he needn’t hide his light under the proverbial bushel basket just because Greil Marcus won’t find him authentic enough to even bother sacking.

Note: I too was very surprised to get this call. And delighted.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

...but equally good, if not better, musicians who can't get a break will still be a bit miffed that Laurie gets to sell his music to a wider audience just because he happens to be famous.

Matt

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I believe it was a second session that began this week; they already cut some stuff with Dr. John earlier in the summer, if I'm not mistaken. According to Ryan Freeland's Web site-- he engineers all of Joe Henry's productions-- there were a couple of different sessions, one with John and then this week's, with Irma Thomas, and there will be a third session in a couple of weeks to record horns, arranged by one Allen Toussaint.

I also notice that Freeland now lists Hugh Laurie very high on his list of credits. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ah, I misinterpreted a message from Joe. It sounded like he meant it was all just starting, when what he meant was *today's* activity was starting.

Whatever the case: I can't wait.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Update: It's out in May in the UK, but not in the US until September 6! Booooo! Looks like I'll be paying for the import...

And, check out this tracklisting-- according to Amazon.com:

1. St. James Infirmary

2. You Don't Know My Mind

3. Buddy Bolden's Blues

4. The Whale Has Swallowed Me

5. The Legend of John Henry featuring Irma Thomas

6. They're Red Hot

7. Six Cold Feet In The Ground

8. Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho

9. After You've Gone featuring Dr. John

10. Swanee River

11. Police Dog Blues

12. Tipitina

13. Whinin' Boy Blues

14. Baby Please Make A Change featuring Sir Tom Jones and Irma Thomas

15. Let Them Talk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hmm. Well, perhaps I am the only one, but there's nothing about that clip that doesn't excite me. He's working with some good material and some great musicians, obviously, and the sound of the thing is, naturally, pretty spectacular. He may not be a technically gifted singer, I guess, but he seems to me to be a pretty good blues singer.

What REALLY excites me, though, is this:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Thom Jurek

Hmm. Well, perhaps I am the only one, but there's nothing about that clip that doesn't excite me. He's working with some good material and some great musicians, obviously, and the sound of the thing is, naturally, pretty spectacular. He may not be a technically gifted singer, I guess, but he seems to me to be a pretty good blues singer.

What REALLY excites me, though, is this:

Josh, you have to admit that Laurie is the weakest link on this entire project--he's not in the same league as most--if not all- of the players on this date. Listen carefully to his sense of time on the record. Not even Joe henry can fix that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, yes.

He's DEFINITELY the weak link.

But he's in a room with JH, Allen Toussaint, Irma Thomas, Dr. John, Jay Bellerose, Tom Jones... I mean, who WOULDN'T be the weakest link in that chain?

This is his first recording date, and the fact that he is an unseasoned musician is certainly evident. I don't wish to suggest that I think he is a natural-born bluesman. But he obviously has a lot of passion for this music, and that goes a long way with me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Thom Jurek

Well, yes.

He's DEFINITELY the weak link.

But he's in a room with JH, Allen Toussaint, Irma Thomas, Dr. John, Jay Bellerose, Tom Jones... I mean, who WOULDN'T be the weakest link in that chain?

This is his first recording date, and the fact that he is an unseasoned musician is certainly evident. I don't wish to suggest that I think he is a natural-born bluesman. But he obviously has a lot of passion for this music, and that goes a long way with me.

That's fair enough for sure. I didn't mean it to be combative. I guess when I listen to any piano records (especially where the music is New Orleans and barrelhouse blues), I need to be able to hear the pianist locking the groove in, or having the ability--the way Dr. John does--of making it "slip time" on purpose without ever losing the beat. And for me, I can't let it go; it's like a flaw in the way I hear--the way some people are driven nuts by singers who are flat or sharp--that I can't help but hear that way. As a result, I can be overly critical of piano players. (I have the same problem with bass players and drummers; "rhythm section hearing disorder.")

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hugh Laurie's brief contribution to this BBC video from about two decades ago is kinda fun:

Edited by Peter T Chattaway

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The whole album is smokin' hot-- and this song in particular, I think. I suspect the press will lambast him for a perceived lack of authenticity-- as though wealthy white British thespians aren't supposed to sing the blues-- but the record convinces me that they are his blues as much as anyone else's.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PSb1mmtYN6s

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been reveling in this most excellent album, so much that I couldn't help but write it up, even though it's still a few weeks (or months, in the U.S.) from releasing. I'm thoroughly convinced, not just that Laurie is a fine musician-- which, really, we already knew-- but that he has as much right to these songs as anyone else.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×