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4.6 out of 5 stars306
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 26 May 2013
Deep rolling vocals from Mr Laurie, growling vocal from Taj Mahal; bell like high notes from the ladies. Real blues for the boys and girls who like the blues not the plethora of crap that we get in the pop charts. This is how the blues is played. Sit back and listen and enjoy. There is only one weak track on here....You work it out yourself as your tastes will be different to mine. Listen to the macabre send me to the electric chair and enjoy something almost so authentic that you could be wandering around the Mississippi delta in a pair of old shoes.
For an actor this is superb music. Hugh clearly loves what he does and with this album it shows.
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on 29 June 2013
Slower and even more bluesy than the first album. Wasn't sure about it at first, but seeing and hearing some of the tracks live has made it much easier to listen to as you can picture the live show as you listen. The band is tremendous and Laurie is clearly having the time of his life playing with them. Also 2 fabulous 'unknown' singers with voices that put most of the current crop of 'stars' to shame.
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on 26 June 2013
Such great tracks played by such a wonderful group of musicians all clearly enjoying what they do. Hugh Laurie is just so talented and easily holds his own. Not keen on only one track out of all of the others. Every bit as good as his first album, maybe even better but definitely worth adding to your collection.
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Everybody likes the very personable Hugh Laurie, who has entertained us from Fry and Laurie to Blackadder, Jeeves and Wooster via Peter's Friends and Stuart Little and finally mega-stardom with House. This album carries on from his previous one `Let them talk' with more classy jazzy blues, with Laurie holding his own with his talented American musicians but taking slightly more of a back seat by leaving some of the vocals to others. Taj Mahal sings on Little Brother Montgomery's `Vicksburg Blues', while Jean McClain sings on the opener `St. Louis Blues', as well as `Send me to the 'lectric chair' and Jelly Roll Morton's `I Hate A Man Like You'. Guatemalan singer Gaby Moreno handles Joe McCoy's `The Weed Smoker`s Dream' (Why Don't You Do Right?) as well as dueting with Laurie on the sexy bilingual tango `Kiss of fire' and both women rip it up on a fabulous rollicking version of the title track, Sister Rosetta Tharpe's `Didn't it rain'. (Jean McClain deserves to get her own recording contract after her contributions here.) My favourite track featuring Hugh was his laid-back, very personal take on the old blues standard 'Careless love'.

I've seen less than kind reviews of this record, which I find hard to understand - it is well-played by Laurie and his all-star Copper Bottom Band (although I thought that guitarists Kevin Breit and Greg Leisz were under-used), well-produced by Joe Henry and there is lots of variety both in the material and the different singers. I thought there was a good mix of older and more modern songs - the album closes with Alan Price's `Changes' and also include's Dr. John's 'Wild Honey'. There is also a nice mixture of well-known and more obscure songs, from the show-business `One for my baby' usually associated with Frank Sinatra to Jack Dupree's druggy down and out `Junkers Blues'. If you liked the multi-million-selling `Let them talk' then I'm sure you'll also like this, which is more of the same really - with Hugh's love of the music again shining through.
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on 5 July 2013
Love this music - went to see the band at the Hammersmith Apollo and the live performance was just as good as the cd. Very impressive!
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on 5 June 2013
What a talented guy! I didn't think he could make a better recording than his last one but he could! He has fascinated us since se saw his first foray I to this environment on TV. A must buy for everyone's college action.
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on 12 May 2013
oh dear. i'm writing a review. there'll be self-flagellation and other penitential forms of mortification tonight!
nonetheless and somehow, i feel compelled to make a few embarrassing and expertly self-important observations such as: this album is really, really brilliant.
wait! there's more.
i'll also admit to still being awestruck by laurie's fleet-footed progression to this caliber of musical craftsmanship. what's even more stupefying, is that he makes this assiduous process seem entirely effortless. it doesn't quite seem fair to me to summarize the 2nd album as primarily showcasing an evolution in musical "sophistication" and range. what does that even mean? while there certainly are various perceptible changes as in experimentation with vocal range & ensemble, instrumental arrangements & stylistic variations, etc., the pleasure of this album also very much lies in what laurie managed to retain within the transition between Let Them Talk & Didn't It Rain. i, for example, find delight in recognizing hugh laurie as the re-interpreting presence through which i'm newly seduced by and differently introduced to "old songs" and, more precisely, in being allowed to recognize this musical mediator as somebody coequal, self-same, familiar... a fellow seductee and fan, who enchants by performing his own (ongoing) seduction by blues music for us. while i've become capable of separating house from laurie, i neither want or can separate the pleasure of the music from the pleasure of experiencing laurie's infectious passion for blues that is so charmingly marked by a very earnest joy, endearing devotion and rapturous humility. the music seems palpably and invariably mediated by that very quality in laurie himself. with this 2nd album, laurie again offers us his (re-)interpretation of songs and pays homage to artists personally significant to him...and once more, none of the tracks "feel" like covers...unless, of course, we want to redefine what a "cover" is or can be. each track feels like a re-reading of something venerated that necessitates a movement toward capturing some enduring essence while at the same time allowing the latter to retain its ultimately spectral/elusive nature. the result is something like a hauntingly/stunningly beautiful mapping of a single, particular sentiment or disposition, and its various vicissitudes (e.g. the melancholia subtending laurie's truly exquisite performance of "careless love" or the opioid languidness of gaby moreno's rendition of "the weed smoker's dream"). not to worry, the album also includes several stellar "non-downer" tracks. and for all the haters/doubters, check out laurie's vocal aptitude in "taking on" louis armstrong on "kiss of fire". allow me to be repetitive in once again emphasizing laurie's endearing aptitude in being both unassuming without being self-effacing when he does "covers", in order to pay homage to the musicians that he has long since idolized in a humble fashion without ever running the "haughty" risk of attempting to "outdo" the latter. i find this nothing but short but mesmerizing. he always proves to have the necessary tact and devotedness to retreat to let "others" shine... may that be in the form of guest musicians or just generally in his attitude to bring his audience closer to what he loves in the particular song or about the artists he clearly admires. as much as the pleasure of listening to his albums is about "him"... there is always a tangible presence of laurie "retreating into homage" that retains the limelight focused on the original masters. and that is moving as much as it is entertaining...to be introduced "anew" and "with a difference." my utmost gratitude and sincerest respect for hugh laurie. i'm corny enough to state that i am proud to call myself a fan. i also want to give a quick shout-out of thanks to laurie's patient and understanding ways in which he allowed house fans to gradually transition with him and his own process of change. that is tremendous and also a sign of generosity and kindness. the sincere commitment and hard work that has gone into providing us with the immeasurable pleasures of house and now hugh laurie the musician has not gone unnoticed! cheers, mate. aw shucks, i love you man.
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My wife and I watched him perform on Graham Norton's show and she was so enthralled that I knew that I had to buy this album for her.

I am amazed how Hugh Laurie has developed from the side kick of Blackadder (I know that he did a lot more beforehand with Stephen Fry) through a major presence now in the US in House and also as a very accomplished and successful Jazz singer. Not bad for a boy who started life at Eton.

So onto this album, I like it, but not enough to give it five stars. It does take me back quite a bit in terms of the style of his work, which undoubtably demonstrates his obvious talent and for some, it will be a five star award. Personally, whilst I do enjoy listening to it, it would not be an album that I would reach for without some thought, so for me, it will see the light of day, but not as much as some others.

In a nutshell, good album, good singer but in my eyes, not great: worth the money though.
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on 1 December 2015
Like 'Let Them Talk' the compilation of tracks is Laurie's way of celebrating the music he loves and sharing that with the listener. It's also slightly different album to the previous one. Here Laurie has branched out to include other styles that would fall under the generic 'jazz' label. He also takes a back seat from being the lead singer for a number of songs, giving the reins to Jean McClain, Taj Mahal & Gaby Moreno on several occasions. This gives the album a more wide ranging blend of music that makes it very enjoyable to listen to.

Unlike on 'Let Them Talk' this time around Hugh seems to be more confident in his singing. Gone is the American affectation replaced with a more natural sound to his voice. This makes it well worth five stars and is a very pleasing album to listen to.
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Often when actors record albums it's for self gratification and a deluded view that they are more talented than they actually are.
However this is not the case for Hugh Laurie.
This man is incredibly talented, as an actor, writer and musician.
He can clearly play the piano, and his singing is fine. he has a passion for blues that comes across in his music.
I get the impression that Laurie has recorded this album not for money or recognition, but because of his sheer enjoyment and love for the blues, and his desire to share that with others.
His nasal American accent seems to be ideally suited to the genre, and he even has a world weary look to finish everything off.
What's not to like.
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