For Hugh Laurie fans, his forthcoming blues album is a source of great anticipation. Enticing kernels of information have been doled out on Twitter and the official “Hugh Laurie’s Blues” Facebook page by Conrad Withey, president of Warner Music Entertainment.
Mr. Withey has been doing an excellent job promoting the release, plying his followers on Twitter with information, as well as playing the occasional guessing game (who’s in the the studio with Hugh today?).
No, this will not be just another album from some TV star who just felt like recording an album. Sure, Mr. Laurie had the money and the contacts to make it happen but Warner approached him (and not the other way around). There is a good reason for this: Mr. Laurie has a proven track record as a singer and musician, writing and performing songs for his 90’s sketch comedy show A Bit of Fry and Laurie, as well as his current hit show House. He has also played in bands, most notably the Band From TV, a group of television luminaries who perform for charity. On their CD/DVD set, Hoggin’ All the Covers, you get a taste of just how musically talented Mr. Laurie is. His renditions of Billy Preston’s “Will It Go Round In Circles” and an updated version of the chestnut “Goodnight Irene” are standout performances in the set.
If you’re waiting impatiently for Hugh Laurie’s blues record, here is the information Mr. Withey has provided us with so far:
The album is complete and slated for release in the spring of 2011.
Among the guest artists are Tom Jones (who sings on a cut called “Baby, Please Make a Change”), David Hidalgo (Los Lobos), steel guitar aficionado, Greg Liesz, and blues legends Irma Thomas and Dr. John.
According to Mr. Withey’s tweet from October 7th, the collaboration between Ms. Thomas and Mr. Laurie was filmed for posterity: “Hugh’s recording with Irma Thomas has been a triumph. Whole thing filmed and stilled ready for web fans soon. Keep watching facebook!”
Renown producer and songwriter, Allen Toussaint, worked with Mr. Laurie in New Orleans, writing and arranging the horn parts for the record.
Hopefully Mr. Withey will be able to provide a us with a taste of what’s to come soon. This project sounds like it could be a lot of fun and quite possibly a rare musical treat.