Editors’ Notes The multitalented Hugh Laurie recorded these New Orleans blues standards with legends Dr. John, Irma Thomas, and Allen Toussaint, and he sounds like he’s been playing this music his entire life. His piano performance on an opening cover of “St James Infirmary” balances fiery soul and cool restraint. His singing is even more impressive—while confidently crooning like he was born on a bayou, Laurie never upstages the accompaniment. A rollicking rendition of “You Don’t Know My Mind” follows: percussion bangs and clangs like a Louisiana boiler room as Thomas harmonizes with Laurie as if they’ve been playing for years. He turns “Six Cold Feet” into a smoldering dirge where slide guitars waltz with saucy saxophone solos. Dr. John’s unmistakable drawl accompanies Laurie’s piano on “After You’ve Gone”; this version is trimmed with tasteful clarinet parts. Sir Tom Jones duets with Thomas on “Baby Please Make a Change.” Toussaint’s horn arrangements on the bonus track “Ain’t Necessarily So” provide a hauntingly brassy backdrop.

SONG
St. James Infirmary
1
6:25
 
You Don't Know My Mind
2
3:39
 
Six Cold Feet
3
4:55
 
Buddy Bolden's Blues
4
3:12
 
Battle of Jericho
5
3:47
 
After You've Gone
6
4:09
 
Swanee River
7
2:43
 
The Whale Has Swallowed Me
8
3:37
 
John Henry
9
3:34
 
Police Dog Blues
10
3:33
 
Tipitina
11
5:06
 
Winin' Boy Blues
12
2:59
 
They're Red Hot
13
1:11
 
Baby Please Make a Change
14
4:57
 
Let Them Talk
15
4:10
 
Ain't Necessarily So (Bonus Track)
16
3:44
 

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