The Doctor is in… New Orleans!

October 11, 2011 Wisconsin Public Television Leave a Comment

Watch Great Performances Hugh Laurie: Let Them Talk – A Celebration of New Orleans Blues 10 p.m. Friday, Oct. 14 on Wisconsin Public Television.

“Every man is allowed one pilgrimage in his life…this is mine.” That’s how Hugh Laurie (television’s Dr. House) opens his episode of Great Performances, which he also quickly notes is not his great performance, but rather a great performance by the city he journeys to – New Orleans. Right away Laurie sets the show’s tone by busting into a rolling version of “Swanee River” on the piano accompanied by accordion, snare, stand up bass, and fiddle. Later, Laurie even tries his hand at the guitar…and he can certainly hang with the talented musicians around him including blues legends Allen Toussaint and Irma Thomas and Sir Tom Jones.

Already skeptical that this show will actually contain good music? Download a track from the accompanying album that features Laurie on a 1935 Martin acoustic guitar performing “10-Police-Dog-Blues“. Interspersed amid soulful performances like this are segments from Laurie’s journey which begins in Texas. Ride shotgun in a 1959 Ford Galaxy 500 to meet a woman whose vocal chords will rival the best harmonica player, and in Luckenbock, Texas sit in on a guitar picking circle – all leading up to a raucous blues performance in New Orleans. Tune in to WPT Friday for this celebration of New Orleans blues, or stream the entire program on line now.

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