I tried. I really did. I thought my listeners would like to hear about his affinity for NOLA music. Hugh Laurie (aka Gregory House MD) has a bluesy new release, "Let Them Talk", that he recorded in New Orleans with Irma Thomas, Sir Tom Jones, and the venerable Allen Toussaint.
It's an homage to the blues and jazz greats, and he duplicated that feel today in his hour-long set at the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass fest after a sold-out gig in LA last night where Sir Tom showed up and wowed the crowd.
He opened with "St. James Infirmary" tinkling away on the keys - even gave a brief history of the song - and continued with tunes by Leadbelly, Ray Charles, and J.B. Lenoir. Also added a great rendition of "Careless Love" and "Tipitina". Brave stuff! He was witty, urbane and handsome in his grey suit and tie while the SF sun made a strange appearance and shone down on us all.
Afterward his manager charmingly sidestepped my request for a brief chat by saying: "Hugh is so affable he hates to say no, but sometimes he has to." Hugh stuck around to shake hands with Jimmie Dale Gilmore, then intently watched the entire wonderful set of Kris Kristofferson and Merle Haggard.
We all stayed for soul queen Irma Thomas, who delivered as always.
Great day. I think all who showed up got their money's worth. Ha!