And yet another from here…
Hugh Laurie – Didn’t It Rain
First thought: oh wow it’s Hugh Laurie.
Second thought: three of the first four tracks are called ‘something blues’.
These are clearly the thoughts of someone who hasn’t listened to much blues or jazz, but many people who listen to this album aren’t going to be well versed in American blues; they just saw Hugh Laurie on the cover. And, if you’re looking for an introduction to some American musical styles, having him give you a hand surely can’t hurt.
It’s a surprise then when the vocals begin nearly three minutes into the opening track sung by Guatemalan singer-songwriter Gaby Moreno. There are a quite a few guest singers on the album and their different styles add a nice variety to the tracks. Just because this is Hugh Laurie’s project doesn’t mean it’s a chance for him to show off. He often takes the back seat to the guests and Copper Bottom Band. It’s more like a collaborative album with Hugh Laurie in than an album of Hugh Laurie.
Didn’t It Rain takes you on a journey through American music that visits a cross-section of different styles. Calling it beginner-friendly might be reductive, but it serves as a good introduction to American jazz and blues. Those interested would do well to start here.