Didn't It Rain
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Didn't It Rain
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After the huge success of his debut album, Let Them Talk, on which he celebrated and revived classic material from the world of NOLA blues, Hugh Laurie presents his second album, Didn't It Rain.
Didn't It Rain sees Hugh Laurie depart the sounds of New Orleans as he follows the trajectory of the blues upstream and into the American heartland. It includes songs dating back to early pioneers W.C. Handy ("St Louis. Blues") and Jelly Roll Morton ("I Hate A Man Like You") to more recent artists such as Dr. John ("Wild Honey") and Alan Price of The Animals ("Changes").
Again produced by Joe Henry, Didn't It Rain was recorded at Ocean Way Studio in Los Angeles in January of 2013. Complemented with the heart and accomplishment of his supporting musicians the Copper Bottom Band - Jay Bellerose, Kevin Breit, Vincent Henry, Greg Leisz, Robby Marshall, David Piltch and Patrick Warren with Elizabeth Lea and Larry Goldings - the album also features several lead vocal performances from Guatemalan singer-songwriter Gaby Moreno and soul singer Jean McClain who has previously worked with artists as varied as Jimmy Cliff and Sheryl Crow. The album also highlights a very special guest in the shape of the Grammy-winning blues artist Taj Mahal who contributes vocals to a new take on Little Brother Montgomery's "Vicksburg Blues."
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I have to admit Laurie's voice took a little getting used to for me, but the emotion, interpretation, and incredible musicians on these albums have sold me. I am a big fan!
I bought this as downloadable mp3. But I can't find liner notes anywhere online, I can't even find out who the musicians are, even his website . They apparently are more interested in making music than publicizing it. Ok, if that's the way it is, I'll be happy to just soak up the great vibe from this stealth band.
Didn't It Rain has some old songs (St Lous Blues, Vicksburg Blues, I Hate a Man Like You, Careless Love) and a lot of new ones. All done in an easygoing New Orleans jazz style. I'm always taken by Jean McClain's vocals so end up repeating "Send Me to the 'Lectric Chair" and "I Hate a Man Like You" until family members get tired of them. I like all the songs, the instrumentation, the mixing and Laurie's piano, but Jean is just one of my standout all time favorites.
Hugh and his Copper Bottom Band once again show such talent when it comes to layering a song with rich tone and highlighting individual instruments.
One of the GREAT highlights of this album is Gaby Moreno. "Kiss of Fire" is a playful and fun track between Hugh and Gaby. However, Gaby absolutely purrs "The Weed Smoker's Dream". I don't care what your sexual orientation is, gentlemen, if that track does not get you're heart rate up and some steam under your collar, you might possibly be dead.
The only strange track for me is "Evenin". I LOVE this song and I'm quite fond of this songs take from Gary Moore on his 'Close as You Get' album. For me, Hughs' take is a bit too quick and Jazz Club for me. I know that Hughs' take on the song is closer to the original than Gary but I prefer for the song to smolder nice and slow.
Overall this is a great album and once again, I hope Hugh continues to make music!
As for the music, Have Mercy!!! An anglo saxon? Yikes!!! Soulfulness infuses the musical skills which are considerable and the humor which is dry . . . didn't anybody tell him you cannot do soulfulness and dry together . . .
Right now the two albums offered here are enjoying themselves in my space and I cannot recommend this music too much . . . o yes, along with those other lack of creds, I've never been to New Orleans either . . . but oh how Mr. Laurie has taken such good care of all of that . .
There are really only 2 ways to listen to this CD: in deep stone quiet reverence or loudly singing along. Either way, you'll love it!
Most recent customer reviews
Laurie was born to perform on stage. No tracks sag.Read more