Dr. House has the Blues

Mallory Martin

Illustration: Alex Bailey

Hugh Laurie has taken it upon himself to prove that he really can do anything.

Although he started his career as a bumbling twit on British television and published a decent novel ┬áback in 1996, Laurie has more recently been garnering acclaim for the title role in his American drama, “House M.D.” He once again tests the limits of his talent with the release of his first music album, Let Them Talk.

Let Them Talk is a compilation of New Orleans-style blues, gospels and traditional American folk music. Some songs remain classic, others are given a new twist, but it is all surprisingly well done.

My personal favorite off the disc was “St. James Infirmary.” Laurie’s gorgeous piano playing in this piece really sets the mood for the rest of the album, and shows off the immense skill this man possesses.

For audiences, the most standout aspect of this album will undoubtably be Laurie’s piano playing. Fans of “House” may already be aware of his musical talent, as he regularly plays on the show. Laurie tracks piano for each of the songs as well as often lending vocals. It is his passion resonating from the keys in each piece that makes the album so enjoyable to listen to.

Other highlights include “Buddy Bolden’s Blues,” where Laurie vocalizes about 3 different characters, “Police Dog Blues,” which features Laurie on guitar rather than the ivories, and “Battle of Jericho” and “Winin’ Boy Blues,” each of which include a great tempo and more fabulous piano accompaniment.

The biggest surprise from this release, however, is the actor’s singing voice. Choosing an American accent to better fit with the style, Laurie’s raspy growl is reminiscent of a lesser Randy Newman. Joined by Blues greats such as Irma Thomas, Tom Jones and Laurie’s idol Dr. John on guest vocals, Laurie is not the best by far, but he certainly holds his own.

In a world where audiences usually find themselves dismally disappointed by entertainment hybrids (Disney, we are looking at you), Let Them Talk is worth the purchase.