hugh laurie

The Hollywood triple threat is back.

Seems there’s a new genre of music on the rise: Hollywood’s leading men play the blues. Cynics might call it "aging white men and their midlife crisis band," but a few of these acts are legitimate. Steve Martin won the top bluegrass prize of 2011 with the Steep Canyon Rangers (but then again, we knew the Renaissance man had musical chops ever since he payed tribute to King Tut). And Woody Allen, now touring with his New Orleans Jazz Band, has been playing the clarinet since his teens. Jeff Bridges has gone Method, living out his folk hero role from Crazy Heart in real life, and Tim Robbins? Well, let’s just say he was getting over Susan Sarandon with a really talented backing band…

The latest leading man to reinvent himself is House star Hugh Laurie, who released his debut New Orleans blues album, Let Them Talk, in September. We’ve seen Dr. House at the piano every now and then, but that’s only an inkling of all the pent-up jazz riffs that have occupied Laurie’s ‘gawky English frame’ since he was little. With his backing Copper Bottom Band, he warms up with a little Thelonious Monk or Louis Armstrong; the Brit even takes us down the "Suwannee River." And he’s not half bad (watch the clip below). The best part about actor/comedians-turned-musicians? A serious upgrade in audience banter.

Hugh Laurie and the Copper Bottom Band
June 4, Benaroya Hall, tickets ($35–$75) are on sale now.

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Watch Hugh Laurie: Let Them Talk on PBS. See more from Great Performances.