The last time I wrote about Hugh Laurie’s surprisingly adept blues debut nearly two years ago, the world of WordPress took note and rocketed the little review to Freshly Pressed status. The album never quite took off in the US, but my post did because at the time the music was only available in the UK — I’d just happened to luck into a press copy by accident, becoming the first US critic to say anything about it. What’s great about Laurie’s blues work, which makes the album stand out even two years in, is the fact that he comes at the music as a fan. He’s heard this music all his life, and it’s soaked into his soul — something which makes his performances work even when you perhaps wouldn’t otherwise take him seriously.
Today I learned he’s putting his music out there further in the UK to promote the NHS’s Organ Donor Registry via ITV, at a time when there is a desperate shortage of donors in that region. Laurie took to Oceanway Studios in Los Angeles, recording a rollicking cover of “Unchain My Heart” for the cause in the same venue where everyone from Frank Sinatra to Ella Fitzgerald have recorded. You can watch the video below, and then dig deep into Let Her Talk like you should have done two years ago. It’s not too late to recognize a wide-ranging talent when you hear one.
When I woke up this morning, I was greeted by a brimming box full of emails and the sight of “Hear! Hear!” on the front page of WordPress. And I’ve got to say, I’m honored that my Hugh Laurie album review was deemed worthy enough to have them choose to showcase my site on the main page. But more important, I’m hoping that all the new readers who flow onto this site because of that review will stick around to read about the other fine music I’ve been writing about here for more than 18 months. Because in the end there’s a never-ending supply of great music. Now’s the perfect chance to start up a real conversation!
So to all you new WordPress readers who are possibly finding this site for the first time — and at this point more than 3,600 of you have wandered thorugh since the page was featured – I hope you enjoy what you find and feel like chiming in with your two cents. If you’ve got a musical tip for me, a band you want me to hear, or you just want to shout at me for something I said that you take umbrage to — whatever the case, I hope you’ll feel free to email me or respond in kind on this site.
Everyone’s welcome to join the conversation! And again, thanks for reading!