Depending on your style, age–or, perhaps, your side of the Atlantic Ocean–performer Hugh Laurie is familiar to many for many different reasons.
The British-born actor won critical acclaim in the late 1980s, 1990s as one-half of the comedy duo Fry and Laurie, with fellow Brit and best friend Stephen Fry. He has published a successful detective novel, The Gun Seller. And, for many, he was the curmudgeony genius Dr. Gregory House on the Fox television program bearing the character's name, from 2004 to 2012.
With acting and writing conquered, Laurie is well on his way to becoming recognized now for his musical chops, which will be on display . Delving into the sounds of New Orleans blues and jazz on piano and vocals, Laurie will be joined by The Copper Bottom Band.
The concert will feature music from his recent release, "Let Them Talk," which celebrates the music of blues legends such as Lead Belly, Robert Johnson and Memphis Slim.
So what's a proper Englishman doing playing New Orleans blues? "I was not born in Alabama in the 1890s," he said. "You may as well know this now. I've never eaten grits, cropped a share, or ridden a boxcar. No gypsy woman said anything to my mother when I was born and there's no hellhound on my trail, as far as I can judge. Let this record show that I am a white, middle-class Englishman, openly trespassing on the music and myth of the American south.
"If that weren't bad enough, I'm also an actor: one of those pampered ninnies who hasn't bought a loaf of bread in a decade and can't find his way through an airport without a babysitter," Laurie continued. "Worst of all, I've broken a cardinal rule of art, music, and career paths: actors are supposed to act, and musicians are supposed to music. That's how it works. You don't buy fish from a dentist, or ask a plumber for financial advice, so why listen to an actor's music?"
So why the blues? "The answer is - there is no answer," he said. "I love this music, as authentically as I know how, and I want you to love it, too. And if you get a thousandth of the pleasure from it that I've had, we're all ahead of the game."