Hugh Laurie Live One Of The Year’s Most Surprising Live Recordings

Courtesy:  Eagle Rock Entertainment

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment

Actor Hugh Laurie is best known for his role as the title character on Fox’s former hit medical drama, House.  The show ran a total of eight seasons over the course of almost eight years.  With the show’s end in May of 2012, many were left wondering what was next for Laurie.  The answer:  Music.  Of course.  For whatever reason, television stars have a desire to be music stars and vice versa.  Sadly, so many of said celebrities fail in their endeavors.  Laurie, interestingly enough, is not among those numbers.  He now has two full length albums out and has just recently released a new live Blu-ray and DVD through Eagle Rock Entertainment.  The performance was recorded on March 26th, 2012 for broadcast on PBS.  This is revealed in the recording’s bonus interview.  This is just the beginning of what makes this performance so worth watching.  Audiences will also note Laurie’s humility throughout the performance.  It’s something that is echoed in his post show interview, too.  That humility makes him stand out among the sea of TV stars that think themselves music stars, too.  The set list chosen for the show seals the deal on this recording.  It includes a solid mix of blues classics from some of Laurie’s favorite blues musicians.  It all comes together to make Hugh Laurie: Live on the Queen Mary a surprisingly impressive release and one that any of Laurie’s fans will want to see.

Hugh Laurie’s new live Blu-ray and DVD, Hugh Laurie: Live on the Queen Mary is one of the most surprising live recordings of 2013.  One of the more interesting facts about this recording is that it was originally recorded for broadcast on PBS.  This is noteworthy because PBS typically releases its programming on its own.  It doesn’t normally use outside resources for distribution of its DVDs and Blu-rays.  So it would definitely be interesting to find out how Eagle Rock Entertainment worked out a distribution deal with PBS for this concert.    Given, it’s a minor detail.  But it’s still something that will catch the ear of any viewer and lead to discussions, whether one watches much of PBS’ programming or not.  One should also note that being that this performance was originally recorded for broadcast on PBS, it also serves as one more example of what makes PBS such a valuable asset for audiences, especially in today’s television market.

That this concert was originally recorded for PBS and distributed via Eagle Rock Entertainment makes for quite the starting point in any discussion and viewing of the concert.  That’s because PBS is known for quality programming.  Just as interesting is the performance put on by Laurie and his band mates in the Copper Bottom Band.  Anyone that had not heard either of Laurie’s new albums would never have suspected the level of talent or the humility presented by the former House star.  It would have been so easy for Laurie to let his ego get the better of himself and take center stage throughout the roughly ninety-minute set.  But he didn’t do that.  He did the exact opposite, letting the band members shine throughout each song instead.  When he did take the stage, his dry wit and musical talent made for plenty of enjoyable and funny moments.  His vocals were just as noteworthy as his wit.  That’s because the best way to describe his vocals would be as a hybrid of Randy Newman and Dr. John.  It’s something that has to be heard to be believed, especially for those that have not yet experienced Laurie’s talents.

The humility presented by Laurie in this concert is very real as audiences will see in the recording’s bonus post-show interview also recorded for PBS.  He openly touts the talents of the Copper Bottom Band members and how honored he was to be playing with them.  He even jokes about how excited he was to be playing with them despite his stereotypical British demeanor.  He goes on to discuss among other topics, how he grew up with a deep love and respect for classic blues and how that led to the current pair of albums that he has recorded.  That discussion yields even more laughs.  Yet again, it’s more display of his humility and respect for his craft.  It’s something that is rarely seen among celebrities that come to the music industry from other areas.  That rare display will echo with audiences and make them appreciate Laurie that much more as a true artist regardless of whether or not he should return to acting at a later point in his career.  And it will make audiences appreciate this new live recording that much more, too.  It is available now in stores and online.  More information on this release and other live recordings from Eagle Rock Entertainment is available online at http://www.eaglerockent.com and http://www.facebook.com/EagleRockEnt.  More information on Laurie’s new album, live recording and upcoming live events is available online at http://www.facebook.com/HughLaurie.  Laurie is currently touring in support of his new album, Didn’t It Rain.  He will be performing at the Carolina Theatre in Durham, NC this Friday, November 1st at 8pm.  Tickets can be purchased for the show online at http://www.ticketmaster.com/event/0E004AF8A8DDDD19?brand=carolinathtr&camefrom=CFC_CTD_WEB.

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“Evolution” is an evolution for Paul Van Dyk and for electronica

Courtesy: Vandit Records

Paul Van Dyk is back.  And he has proven once again why he is one of the leaders in the world of electronica/dance.  His new album, “Evolution” is a fittingly titled work filled with infectious beats and great guest spots including the likes of Adam Young (Owl City), Michelle Leonard, Austin Leeds, and plenty more.  It’s one of those works that can’t be taken in with just one listen.  Every listen offers audiences something new.  In short, it’s an opus that rather than hitting listeners the first time around, it grows on listeners more and more with each listen.  This is the sign of a great album.

Just like music from the greatest classical composers, Paul Van Dyk has grown.  “Evolved” if you will.  The more audiences listen to this album, the more they will grow to appreciate the noticeable changes from his previous albums.  Owl City founder/frontman Adam Young brings his own pop sensibilities to Eternity to make a song that’s bound to be a fan favorite on the album.  There’s something about his vocals that adds an extra “spice” so to speak to the song.  The almost percussive vibe of ‘Lost in Berlin’ alone makes this song another high point on “Evolution.”  the way in which he manipulates the sounds are unlike any of the other songs on the album.  It really conjures images of specialty dance troupes such as Fighting Gravity or others of its ilk.  The addition of Michelle Leonard’s vocals adds yet another extra something to the whole experience here.  And the album’s opener, ‘Symmetries’, wastes no time getting audiences moving. 

The electronica/dance genre is very much a niche genre of music.  However, with the release of “Evolution”, Paul Van Dyk may well have crafted an album that takes this genre out of the clubs and into the mainstream consciousness.  Yet again, it’s proof that while it may not be like his older material, that change is definitely good.  PBD is currently on tour in Europe.  He will be performing ni Brno, Czech Republic next Friday, before moving on to Amsterdam the following night.  Fans can keep up with all the latest from PVD online at http://www.paulvandyk.com, on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/PVD, on Twitter at http://twitter.com/PaulVanDyk, and on Myspace at http://www.myspace.com/paulvandyk.

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