MADELEINE PEYROUX: THE PARTY OUGHTA BE COMIN’ SOON! with opening act Rebecca Pidgeon SUN / SEP 02 7:30 PM JAZZ & BLUES Madeleine Peyroux, vocals and guitar Ted Baker, keyboards Darren Beckett, drums Barak Mori, bass Shane Theriot, guitar Rebecca Pidgeon, vocals and guitar Chris Anderson, sound engineer Leslie Charbon, tour manager
Madeleine Peyroux is managed exclusively by American International Artists, Inc. www.aiartists.com Record Label: Emarcy, a division of Universal Music Group International
Part One Run Time: 40 minutes Rebecca Pidgeon The artist will announce the evening’s program from the stage. There will be one 20 minute intermission.
The artist will announce the evening’s program from the stage.
© Mary Ellen Mark
Part Two Run Time: 75 minutes Madeleine Peyroux: The Party Oughta Be Comin’ Soon
Madeleine Peyroux, vocals and guitar, is in the Your Sleeping Head, My Love” (adapted from midst of her journey. Renowned for her inter- the W.H. Auden poem of the same name) and pretive song skills, the vocalist followed her the stunning, spare “Super Hero” to the clever, creative muse on 2009’s Bare Bones by chal- whimsical “Don’t Pick a Fight With a Poet.” Ms. lenging herself to write a full album of her own Peyroux, who took much of 2010 off from touring in order to compose, found it compositions. Now with Standing easier to flex her writing muscles on the Rooftop (Emarcy/Decca), “One of modern this go-round. “I felt like Bare she delves deeper into her reinjazz’s finest” —Daily News Bones was a first crack,” she vention, not only writing the bulk says. “I was very intent on what it of the songs, but pushing past any preconceived notions about her music and was supposed to mean and I wasn’t always sure daring herself to expand her sonic template. “I that I got the meaning across. I think on these atten wanted to explore some new sounds,” says Ms. songs I made a conscious effort to pay attenPeyroux, best known for her stunning, gold- tion to simplicity in the songwriting.” She also certified 2004 album, Careless Love. “That played around with her methods. “On ‘Fickle would be the most exciting thing that I could Dove’ I started off with the music instead of think of as a musician. I’ve been recording my the lyrics. It’s the only time I can think of that voice and my guitar together, long enough to I’ve done that.” Ms. Peyroux wrote solo as well know this was not the limit.” Ms. Peyroux, who as with a number of collaborators, including was named Best International Jazz Artist at the former Rolling Stone Bill Wyman. The two met 2007 BBC Jazz Awards, has lost none of her when he approached Ms. Peyroux at a jazz fescompelling ability to reinvent a lyric and give tival in Nice. “He was at the festival to see B.B. it soul-shaking meaning through her intricately King,” she recalls. “He said ‘I’m a fan of yours. nuanced vocal shadings. But she’s broadened I have all the records.’ And I was actually quite her musical palette here, embracing an organ- stunned.” That meeting turned into their writic, American roots sound. Listeners need look ing together in London for a week. “I went to see him every day. We worked on a big handful no further than the title track to hear the metameta morphosis. “Standing on the Rooftop” opens on songs. There were moments that were like, with a hypnotic pulse that runs through the ‘I’m sitting here with a former Rolling Stone!’ song like a jagged heartbeat. “I thought, ‘This when he was telling me stories, but he’s incredis an interesting arrangement, something more ibly down to earth and humble and so very kind. He had a lot of tea; I had a lot of coffee.” Their like Steve Reich,’ but it’s harmonically interinter esting. The space around the lyrics, the time it caffeine-fueled writing sessions yielded the takes to get from one phrase to another, it felt deliciously funky “The Kind You Can’t Afford.” like a natural evolution,” Ms. Peyroux says. Or Her originals stand shoulder to shoulder with a handful of cannily selected covers: in addition take the haunting, spectral tones on an exquiexqui site cover of Robert Johnson’s “Love in Vain,” a to “Love in Vain,” the album includes a wistful song she was initially hesitant to approach. “I’d take on Bob Dylan’s “I Threw it All Away” and a grown up listening to Robert Johnson songs banjo-laden twist on The Beatles’ “Martha My and I thought it was tricky to cover,” she says. Dear.” Earlier this year, Ms. Peyroux entered a “We did all kinds of renditions; we wanted to New York studio with producer Craig Street, bring out the perspective.” Standing On the best known for his work with K.D. Lang, Norah Rooftop, her fifth solo album, encompasses a Jones, and Cassandra Wilson. The pair had wide spectrum, from the lulling, gentle “Lay been briefly introduced to each other several
top, it’s clear the answer is a resounding yes.
years prior. Mr. Street reached out to Ms. Peyroux as she wrapped up her writing. “We met again and it felt like we could converse in the same context,” she says. That “context” meant stripping away how she had been conceived of in the past and pushing the limits of her sound. “I had the desire to really explore and see just how far I could take these new songs and hopefully do something sonically, experimental on some level.” To realize her vision, she and Street brought in musicians renowned in their own right as artists, including guitarist Mark Ribot and bassist Me’Shelle N’degeocello. “Mark is just a bundle of youth and energy. It’s pretty impossible to imagine where it all comes from,” Ms. Peyroux says, who had recorded with Ribot on her first album. “When he comes to the studio, he can’t stop coming up with new ideas and sounds. Because of that energy, that bright light, there’s also something very easygoing and enjoyable.” “Me’Shelle was more about just locking in. She’s happy to play a root for two hours and I found that stunning for someone with the same amount of energy as Marc,” Ms. Peyroux says. “She’s also willing to step out.” The core unit also included drummer Charley Drayton, keyboardist John Kirby, and guitarist Christopher Bruce. “Everyone was feeling pretty driven to see what we could come up with as a unit, as opposed to people having specific jobs,” Ms. Peyroux says. They brought in additional musicians as desired, including legendary New Orleans pianist Allen Toussaint. Now, Ms. Peyroux is eager to take the songs from the studio to the street, fully aware from her past experience that this new bundle passes her stringent litmus test. “Because I was a cover artist first and foremost for a long time, the main job was finding a repertoire that really does need to answer some of these personal characteristics: Can you inhabit this character in this song? Can you be part of it? And can you be on stage and live this song no matter when or where?” she says. With Standing on the Roof-
Rebecca Pidgeon, vocals and guitar, has been recording music for more than 20 years, but the acclaimed singer-songwriter had a creative breakthrough as she began working on the album Slingshot, her compelling sixth solo effort. “I reached a point where I felt I had to take it more seriously and really make a 100% commitment to it, instead of saying this is something I do that’s not acting,” says Ms. Pidgeon. “I finally said to myself, ‘I am a singer and I’m really going to work on my voice. I’m really going to work on my playing, and I’m really going to own it’.” Ms. Pidgeon does, indeed, “own it” on Slingshot, an intoxicatingly adult pop album that explores the intricate arc of love from desire to longing to despair. “I love the concept of the word ‘slingshot.’ It’s arresting. It’s such an unusual word to have in a love song,” she says of the buoyant title track. Other standouts include the yearning “Sweet Hand of Mercy,” that recalls Joan Osborne; the electric, driving “Disintegration Man;” the jazzy, noirish “A Lonely Place;” and the plaintive “Baby Please Come Home.” Throughout, Ms. Pidgeon displays a newfound confidence in her songwriting and her warm, nuanced vocals. The deeply melodic Slingshot marks the third time Ms. Pidgeon and Grammy“I love the concept of winning producer Larry the word slingshot.” Klein (Joni Mitchell, —Rebecca Pidgeon Madeleine Peyroux, Herbie Hancock) have collaborated together. The two made an often intentionally quiet album that compellingly beckons the listener to lean in and pay attention. “There is a simplicity and air and space to it,” she says. “That was a conscious decision.” The longtime friends, who worked on 2005’s Tough On Crime and 2008’s Behind the Velvet Curtain, took a new tack for Slingshot. “Before we started this project, Larry said, ‘We’re going to get really serious with this record. That means I’m going to 12
with me, because it is very difficult to write the perfect love song about being happy.” The lone cover on the set is a stirring, poignant version of Warren Zevon’s “Searching for a Heart.” Throughout the summer and fall, Ms. Pidgeon has headlined Wine, Women & Song, a series of concerts that take place at female-run vineyards coordinated by wine company Women of the Vine. “These women are so entrepreneurial. They’re artists,” she says. “The concerts with the wine tastings have been so very convivial, so lovely.” The WWS dates will extend into 2012. Ms. Pidgeon, who has also shared stages with such artists as Aimee Mann, Madeleine Peyroux, Jeffrey Gaines, and Peter Himmelman, joined founders Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp, and Neil Young at the 2011 edition of Farm Aid, on August 13. The singer looks forward to performing selections from Slingshot live, though as mother of a 12-year old and 16year old, she limits her time away from her Los Angeles home. “I [tour] in bursts. I do it for a week or two and then I have to get back,” she says. “I’m not gone for six months.” Plus, the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts graduate continues to juggle her musical efforts with her extremely successful acting career. She recently appeared in Red, alongside Bruce Willis and Morgan Freeman. Up next is a film about record producer Phil Spector and his recent murder trial. Ms. Pidgeon will star with Al Pacino in the film directed and written by David Mamet.
be honest with you about certain things that I maybe haven’t been so honest with you before’,” recalls Pidgeon. “I was so glad. We decided let’s make the record that we think is the best possible thing we can make. We’re going to be brutal about these songs. We wrote many songs and threw out lots of them.” In fact, Ms. Pidgeon wrote 35 songs for Slingshot, more than she has ever written for an album before. Working primarily with Klein and David Batteau on the “kernel of the record,” Ms. Pidgeon also penned tunes with Timothy Bracy and acclaimed singer/songwriter Freedy Johnston including the deceptively jaunty, upbeat “I Love No One.” There were some realizations along the way. On the swampy “Disintegration Man,” Ms. Pidgeon and Klein set out to make “a real basic, dumb rock song,” before realizing it’s not as easy as it seems. “Since I’ve been learning guitar theory, I’ve been looking at all these rock stars who have their tattoos and drugs and I’m like, ‘You don’t kid me! You sat in your room as a teen for hours and hours practicing your scales’.” Slingshot includes a co-production between Ms. Pidgeon and her husband, Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright/film director David Mamet. The aching, largely a cappella “Baby Please Come Home” showcases Ms. Pidgeon’s vulnerable, intimate vocals. “It’s a humbling experience writing with him, he’s a master, so in terms of being an artist, I really sit at his feet,” Ms. Pidgeon says of Mamet. Plus, their previous efforts had been thwarted until Ms. Pidgeon learned “when we write songs, it has to be generated from me rather than from him...I hope we write more together. It really has to be the right set up.” Though the country-tinged song, written in the tradition of a lonely Hank Williams ballad is haunting, Ms. Pidgeon says no one need worry about the state of her union. “I find it difficult to write about how much I love my husband,” she says. “I pull from other aspects of my life, from other people’s stories, from books, from other songs that resonate
Published on Oct 2, 2012