Joe Henry’s producing an album by Dr. Gregory House?

I know Joe Henry, producer of Elvis Costello, Allen Toussaint, Carolina Chocolate Drops, Loudon Wainwright III, Mary Gauthier, and Over the Rhine, is full of surprises.

But this? This may be the biggest surprise of all.

In the professional diagnosis of the music industry, Hugh Laurie … has come down with a bad case of the blues. … Warner Music Entertainment said on Monday that it had signed up Mr. Laurie … to record an album of New Orleans blues.

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  • I”m actually looking forward to this. His brief musical interludes on the show are quite good and putting that talent in the hands of Mr. Henry with an eye towards New Orleans blues? It’s a quirky idea to be sure, but I honestly have a hard time imagining this NOT working.

  • Joe, as a big fan of Laurie since his Blackadder days, I’ve become convinced he’s good at everything. You should ask him to cook for you, just in case. He might be the next Julia Child.

  • Joe Henry

    I know, I know. And *he* knows: the woods are strewn with the bodies of screen actors obsessed with being recording artists. (At the same time, mind you, I know just as many musicians who want to act, and do, with varying degrees of success. I could rattle a few off. Won’t.)

    But I have heard myself say to Mr. Hugh Laurie: “Look, just because you’re a wildly accomplished actor doesn’t you mean you automatically have nothing to say as a musician. And you’re allowed to ‘speak’ if it’s meaningful to you -and you’ll speak to the ones who care top listen.”

    And I meant it. He’s a gifted and lovely man, a dedicated musician; and he needn’t hide his light under the proverbial bushel basket just because Greil Marcus won’t find him authentic enough to even bother sacking.

    Note: I too was very surprised to get this call. And delighted.