"A wormhole opened between the minor and major third, and I stepped through into Wonderland."
That's renowned British actor Hugh Laurie describing the first time he heard Willie Dixon's "I Can't Quit You Baby," and subsequently fell into a love affair with the blues of the American south that has endured to this day.
In fact, it's done much more than endure -- Laurie's love for the blues led him to the music of New Orleans, where, in 2010, he pushed his actor's duties to the side and recorded an album of N'Awlins blues with the likes of legendary singer Irma Thomas, pianist/arranger Allen Toussaint, Dr. John and producer Joe Henry.
Actors who love music and decide to take a crack at it are nothing new. But Laurie, unlike many of his peers, turns out to have a gift for it. How can a white British guy play the African-American blues with conviction and believability? Ask Mick and Keith. Or better yet, ask Laurie when he comes to the Riviera Theatre (67 Webster St., North Tonawanda) for a concert at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday. Sadly, if you didn't grab your tickets early, you 1/8 re out of luck -- the event is now sold out.
-- Jeff Miers