Billie Holiday long has been the dominant influence on Madeleine Peyroux. But another musical icon inspires Peyroux's new album, The Blue Room: Ray Charles; specifically his groundbreaking 1962 album Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music. Then, Charles's crossbreeding of blues, gospel, and jazz with lushly arranged mainstream country was shocking. But it was also a hit, yielding one of his signature pieces: Don Gibson's "I Can't Stop Loving You." Peyroux and producer Larry Klein adopt Charles's genre-blending concept and cover a handful of Modern Sounds' tunes, rounding out the album with songs in a similar story-telling mode from Randy Newman, Warren Zevon, John Hartford, and Leonard Cohen. Peyroux's distinctive versions of the pieces, including her own aching, jazz-inflected renditions of heartbreak and loss, transcend Blue Room's origins, becoming one of her most definitive artistic statements. She will reportedly be backed by her trio and a string quartet. (Photo by Rocky Schenk)
Tuesdays, Wednesdays, 7 p.m. Starts: April 2. Continues through April 3, 2013
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