Music Monday: Hugh Laurie, Jack Johnson and Band of Horses

Let Them Talk by Hugh Laurie

Hugh Laurie shot to fame over the last decade for playing the lead role in the medical drama House, but he was known long before that in some parts of the world as a very funny, and very British, comedian. And those who have seen his comedy from decades past may perhaps recall that he often would play the piano or guitar and sing on regular occasion (even if for comedic effect). With a second album on the way, it’s clear that Laurie has now chosen to focus on his music aspirations, and his new album is supposed to follow on from this debut work in which he played and recorded a lot of his favourite songs from the New Orleans blues scene, alongside many other famous blues musicians. He is insanely talented and his music is very catchy and uplifting – just listen to his take on “Swanee River” and you’ll see what I mean:

En Concert by Jack Johnson

This is perhaps one of my favourite live albums of all time, recorded during his “Sleep Through The Static” tour of 2008. Released in 2009, the album features performances from a number of shows, many from Paris but also some from other parts of Europe and the UK. The set-list features a lot of my favourites, although to be honest I love everything this guy has ever released so I’d be pretty difficult to disappoint. The song I’ve included contains footage from the film that accompanied this album (of the same name), and is of the songs “Belle” and “Banana Pancakes” – just try and listen without smiling, it’s impossible I tell you:

Mirage Rock by Band of Horses

I only discovered this band a couple of years ago, but I really love their Americana styled vocals, and their ability to jump between sweet and melancholy ballads, folk songs and upbeat rock songs. What I find particularly impressive is that they seem to keep improving as their career spurs on – four albums in and they sound stronger than they ever have before. They’re one of those bands who seem to have become popular through word of mouth, but looking at the figures on some of their clips on Youtube, they have definitely achieved a substantial level of success, as they deserve. Listen to the lead single and album opener, “Knock Knock”, and you’ll see why I like this band so much:

What have you been listening to this week?

6 thoughts on “Music Monday: Hugh Laurie, Jack Johnson and Band of Horses

  1. I had no idea Hugh Laurie made music! Very interesting. And I like Jack Johnson, although I haven’t heard his live album. And Band of Horses yay! I’ve liked them for a few years, but I somehow haven’t gotten around to buying more than a few of their songs. I really need to get on that because they are wonderful.

    • Yeah, interestingly Hugh Laurie hasn’t marketed his music too much, I think because he does it for the sake of the music, not for the sales. But it is definitely very good and worth a listen, and I am quite excited about his second album coming out next month. Have you seen much of his comedy from the 80s and 90s? He performed a lot of it with Stephen Fry, they worked so well together (and they are still quite good friends too).
      Band of Horses are quite amazing, I love both this album (Mirage Rock), and also the one before it (Infinite Arms). They are both stunning, the whole way through.

  2. I did not know that Hugh Laurie was a musician. Although I must admit that I’m not overly surprised. Someone with that much talent as an actor would surely have to have other creative outlets. I don’t know that his music is something I would listen to regularly, but it’s definitely a nice change from the usual stuff I would listen to (which is just about everything else really). Thanks for sharing!

  3. I remember when Laurie’s album first came out and I was so surprised that he was a musician as well, but when I heard the music I instantly fell for it. He is so talented and my respect for him has grown so much, being an excellent actor and musician? Not many who can claim to that 😛 I love the song You don’t know my mind, it’s absolutely awesome and the swing in it haha ^^

    Also I must say I’ve liked Jack Johnson for quite some time, though my appreciation for him has grown since you began showing more of his stuff 🙂 And Band of Horses is, ofc, awesome as well. I’ve actually seen them live on a free music festival here in Sweden a coupla years ago! It was really cool to see them live and they were absolutely vibrant and filled with energy!

    Anuhhways.. great post and great tips, as always! 🙂

    • And to think before he was known for his acting and musical abilities, he was known for his comedic prowess – I’ll have to show you his comedy stylings soon! You’ll love it I’m sure! 🙂
      Jack Johnson very much is someone who grows on you the more you listen and discover his music. He is yet to disappoint me, frankly.
      I’m extremely jealous you’ve seen Band of Horses already, but then again I’ve seen a lot of artists you haven’t (especially Aussie ones, of course) so I guess it evens out! 😛 I will see them live at some point, I am sure! 😉
      Thank you for the lovely comment, as always! 🙂

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