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Hugh Laurie’s Let Them Talk Single Released, Website Up, Tour Dates Announced.

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The promotion machine for Hugh Laurie’s forthcoming Let Them Talk CD has revved into high gear, wasting no time in getting the word out about the release of the pre-album single “You Don’t Know My Mind”. The good news is that the three-track single is available for purchase as a download. The bad news is you have to be in Europe to do so.

The European Amazon and iTunes sites are, so far, the only retailers to offer the music for sale. If you’re in the U.S. and want to be a good fan and support the release, those sites will not honor your good intentions (citing geographical licensing restrictions). It remains to be see if this changes any time soon, hopefully way before the September release of the U.S. album.

You can pre-order the album at the official Hugh Laurie Blues website or at Amazon’s U.K. site. Besides being offered as a regular CD, it is now being offered on vinyl and as a deluxe package, which includes the CD, a 44-page book and the “You Don’t Know My Mind” single.

If you’d like a free taste of what’s to come, the Hugh Laurie Blues website has a wonderful mini-documentary on the making of the album, which includes some fine clips of the band and Laurie recording. Laurie’s enthusiasm for the project shines as he speaks glowingly of his fellow musicians and producer Joe Henry. Although Laurie is humble about his involvement, producer Henry is more than happy to throw well deserved accolades his way.

The website also offers a free download of the track “Guess I’m a Fool” in exchange for your email address. “Fool” features Laurie on piano, sounding like a love-struck barroom crooner singing his heart out before last call. Laurie’s voice has a rawness to it that serves his chosen material well. This holds true for the three tracks on the single “You Don’t Know My Mind”.

The title cut, an old Leadbelly stomper, has Laurie growling about the ‘coffee gettin’ cold’ and ‘laughin’ just to keep from cryin’. Joe Henry keeps the production spare and tight with acoustic and slide guitar, mandolin, an upright bass and a some drums to round out the mix. “It Ain’t Necessarily So” is an unexpected addition to the track list. The Gershwin classic gets a blues treatment with an ominous edge that works. “Buddy Bolden’s Blues”, a somewhat obscure tune, is the sole surviving composition of the late jazz cornetist Buddy Bolden. Jelly Roll Morton wrote the lyrics and Laurie does a fine job digging deep into the soul of the down and out narrator to tell the story.

On March 22, Laurie and his band performed a concert for the press in New Orleans famed Latrobe’s on the Royal. A video of three of those live songs aired on the Guardian website and should be available on demand beginning Friday, March 25. The video included Laurie’s powerful rendition of “The Whale Has Swallowed Me”, a unique, smokin’ version of “Swanee River” featuring Laurie’s masterful piano work, as well as a version of “You Don’t Know My Mind”. According to accounts of those who were at the show, Tom Jones and Irma Thomas were along to add their vocal talents to the song “Baby, Please Make a Change”. Sadly, this performance was not on the video but hopefully we’ll be able to see it at some point in the future.

The additional good news for European fans is that Laurie and his band are taking to the road this spring to perform live. Here are the shows scheduled so far:

Berlin, April 28th – Venue: Passionskirche Kreuzberg
Hamburg, April 27th – Venue: Cafe Keese
Cheltenham Jazz Festival, May 2nd – Venue: Town Hall Main Hall (UK)
London, May 4th – Venue: Union Chapel
Paris, May 11th – Venue: Le Trianon
Coventry, May 6th – Venue: Warwick Arts Centre
Manchester, May 7th – Venue: Royal Northern College of Music

That’s all until the next update. Hopefully we’ll get to see some more of the Latrobe show and possibly concert footage once the band takes to the road.

Stay tuned!

 

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About Mindy Peterman

  • rjw

    Mindy,
    I’ve listened to the 3 songs from the Guardian website.Laurie is an excellent musician!

  • Donna

    Thanks for this review and early concert info. I really didn’t know what to expect, but I was impressed with the 3-song set performance off the Guardian site. Hugh’s band and singer seemed to be very well-seasoned blues performers. Had to chuckle a bit when it ended because as relaxed as Hugh looked performing he seemed to be relieved when he finished.

    I live in the U.S. and have already pre-ordered the cd through Amazon,UK to receive in May. I’ll wait to see what happens w/all those ‘deluxe’, etc options when “LTT” and it’s PR media blitz hits here in a few months. That said, I’m still waiting for the promised free song download. I’ve re-registered my e-mail twice and still no download. Do you know if others have had this problem? Thanks again.

  • Mindy

    rjw: I totally agree about Laurie’s musicianship. Quite impressive.

    Donna: I had the same problem with the download but when I used a different email address it worked. Maybe get a Gmail or Yahoo account and try again.

  • http://www.npr.org bigHousefan

    Donna #2

    I also had to use another email address and then received the free download immediately! Loved it! I’ve seen Hugh perform with Band From TV in Chicago and was stunned. He is an amazingly talented musician!

  • Donna

    Thank you Mindy and bigHousefan! Email change worked.

    Hugh is singing to me as I write this.

    Ahhhhh. :-)

  • Mindy

    Donna: You’re welcome!

  • NKRH

    Hi, just wondering if Hugh’s version of ‘It Ain’t Necessarily So’ is on the CD? Only it’s not on the tracklist and I’m dying to here it!

  • Mindy

    NKRH: The song is currently only available as part of a three track mp3 download from the European iTunes and Amazon sites. Unfortunately, you cannot purchase it if you’re in the U.S. U.S. customers can pre-order the deluxe version of the full length CD, which will include a CD copy of that single. Good luck!

  • NKRH

    @Mindy, Oh yeah I’ve found it now thank you very much!

  • Mindy

    NKRH: You’re welcome!

  • Michelle

    The preorder for the U.S. release of the album in Sept is no longer available on amazon.com. In fact, the item is no longer on the site, only the UK import is available. Does Mindy or anyone else know why this is?

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/mindy-peterman Mindy Peterman

    Michelle: I sent an email to Amazon to ask them why the September pre-order has been taken off the site. As soon as I hear back I will post their response here.

  • Michelle

    Thanks, Mindy, will look forward to their response in your post. Appreciate it!

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/mindy-peterman Mindy Peterman

    Michelle: You’re welcome!

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/mindy-peterman Mindy Peterman

    Michelle: It seems Amazon is clueless. This is the response I received when I asked why the U.S. release was taken off the site:

    “I’ve checked the availability for “Let Them Talk by Hugh Laurie ” and see it won’t be released until May 17, 2011. If you place a pre-order now, we’ll ship the Audio CD to you once it’s been released and we’ve received inventory.”

    Obviously this is not the answer to the question I asked but I will try other avenues and see if I have better luck.

  • Michelle

    Thanks, Mindy. It seems that whoever responded didn’t know that there was another preorder, the U.S. version, in existence that was up on the site. As far as I know, the removal happened fairly recently, in the past two or three days. How strange. I hope we get a clear answer. Thanks again for your help.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/mindy-peterman Mindy Peterman

    Michelle: A second response from Amazon addressed the problem but offered no solution to those who are waiting for the U.S. release:

    “I understand that you want to know when the “Let Them Talk” by Hugh Laurie will be available.

    Previously we had a U.S. release date of September 7th for the “Let Them Talk” by Hugh Laurie, but this has been removed as this is a popular item so we listed the Let Them Talk (Import) CD that will be released on May 17, 2011.

    Right now we don’t have information when we will put back on our website. I’d suggest checking our website from time to time to see if this item is available for
    Pre-order.

    I hope this helps. We hope you to see you again.”

    At least someone understood the question this time.

  • Michelle

    Thanks, Mindy for your prompt action and response! Really appreciate it. What doesn’t make sense is why would the item be removed “as this is a popular item”? Perhaps from a sales standpoint, from just a sampling of responses online, since people were willing to pay the few extra dollars to get the import rather than wait another four months, the preorders for the import probably reflected this. Because Amazon probably saw the two releases as the same version, they decided to remove the U.S. release. Your thoughts? I was under the impression that the U.S. release might include bonus materials, which is why I was willing to wait the four months. Do we know for certain that this is true?

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/mindy-peterman Mindy Peterman

    Michelle: I speculated in an earlier article that the U.S. version might include content not available on the U.K./European version. I can’t imagine what that content could be, unless they’re going to tack on a DVD of the New Orleans documentary Laurie filmed. At this point, who knows?

    I think, if you can afford it, the U.K. deluxe version is the way to go right now. The bonus disc is a definite plus and the 44 page book looks like it could be pretty cool. Order it from Amazon U.K., though. It’s cheaper than getting it from the Hugh Laurie Blues site and, unlike that site, Amazon doesn’t charge your card until your order is ready to ship.

  • Michelle

    Thanks for the info, Mindy. I hope your speculation turns out to be true since the docu seems to be airing only in the UK unfortunately. And thanks for the tip regarding Amazon UK. Didn’t know that. Thanks once again for your time and effort in following up on my question. You’ve been gracious! :)

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/mindy-peterman Mindy Peterman

    Michelle: You’re very welcome!