How does a world-famous TV or film actor take his name on the road? Well, typically, he gets hooked into the Broadway circuit, adding marquee value to a touring production or simply staying in New York and letting eager tourists do the traveling. But a growing cadre of renaissance men* —including John C Reilly** , Steve Martin*** , Woody Allen**** , and now Hugh Laurie***** — are taking a different tack: getting a band together and playing their favorite roots music, using their existing fame as the draw, and leaning on the timeless tunes as “the material.”
Hugh Laurie, best known for his stunning eight-season run on FOX series House (but equally beloved by Britcom nerds for his roles in Blackadder and Jeeves & Wooster ) recently released an album of blues standards, Let Them Talk, told NPR that he’s hooked on the Blues and announced a post-series-close international tour with his band, The Copper Bottom Boys. But don’t take our word for it; hear it yourself from the House’s mouth:
Side note: Isn’t it a bit weird to hear Hugh’s British accent after all these years of growled American hard “R” ‘s? Anyway, though it looks like the show is SOLD OUT (and don’t say we didn’t warn you; we listed this in our May issue) you can still check out a few tracks on NPR, and maybe even nab yourself a copy.
Glee ‘s Idina Menzel, slightly outside this old boys’ club, splits the diff between the Broadway route and the solo concert circuit, staging a series of solo Broadway-style revues. She’ll be at The Keller on Sunday.
*Reilly played old folk/country tunes at Aladdin and Sasquatch! last week.
*Martin will play banjo-driven bluegrass at Mcmenamin’s Edgefield later this summer with Emmylou Harris.
*Allen played jazz clarinet with his longtime combo at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall last winter.
****Laurie plays blues piano at the Schnitz this Friday.