Album review: Hugh Laurie - Let Them Talk

He conquered British comedy, then prime time American telly. But will blues-loving Laurie’s foray into music capture imaginations in the same way?

“I love this music, as authentically as I know how,” says Laurie of the various flavours of blues on his debut record.

Interpreting and reviving a hand-picked clutch of deep south music from the likes of Leadbelly, Robert Johnson, Ray Charles and Memphis Slim, Laurie never once sounds uncomfortable, under-qualified (“I was not born in Alabama in the 1890s”) or out of place.

A mean pianist and earnest, characterful singer, he enlists a sackful of session musicians and immerses himself in the blues – coming up trumps with beautifully doleful piano on opener St James Infirmary and making the zesty You Don’t Know My Mind as belligerent as it sounds.

With Tom Jones, Dr John and Irma Thomas on board too, this is a slick but passionate set.

4 stars

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