Apparently, there is very little that Hugh Laurie cannot do. From his brilliant comedy work in Blackadder, A Bit of Fry & Laurie and Jeeves and Wooster to playing everyone’s favorite TV curmudgeon, Dr. Gregory House, to his best selling author effort with The Gun Seller (1996), it’s time for Laurie, yet again, to conquer the musical world.
Hugh Laurie: Didn’t it Rain, the follow-up to his 2011 collection of blues standards, ‘Let Them Talk’, follows a similar format of blues and jazz arrangements with numerous high caliber guest musicians, including Taj Mahal, who have lent their talents to support Laurie’s blues piano.
After listening to both ‘Let Them Talk’ and ‘Didn’t it Rain’, which will be released on Monday, it’s crystal clear that Laurie isn’t anywhere near that long line of television or movie stars who, for whatever reason, believe they have an birthright entitlement to record a CD and tour regardless of talent. Laurie has been a student of music history for much of his life. At a recent Queen Mary party to celebrate the release of his upcoming CD, Laurie explained that in 1975 a personal hero, the late New Orleans singer and pianist Professor Longhair, played in the very room he was performing in at a party thrown by Paul McCartney and Wings. The resulting album, ‘Live on the Queen Mary’, had a profound impact on the 19-year-old Laurie. “…It changed everything for me“, Laurie said.
Laurie’s first exposure to the blues came when he was aged 11 or 12. According to Laurie, Willie Dixon’s I Can’t Quit You Baby ‘made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up’. The first album he bought was Muddy Waters’s Live At Mr Kelly’s. He was hooked. With ‘Let Them Talk’ and now Didn’t it Rain’, it’s clear that Laurie is dedicated to making music that is alive and that could stand on its own.
Didn’t It Rain will be released on Warner Music on Monday, 6 May. Hugh Laurie and the Copper Bottom Band will tour throughout the UK beginning 13 June. Let’s hope he finds his way to this side of the pond in the not-too-distant future.