British actor and U.S. TV star Hugh Laurie has signed a deal with Warner Music Entertainment (WME) to release a New Orleans-flavored blues album.
Laurie, the five-time Emmy winning star of Fox's hit medical drama series "House," will enter the studio this summer to record the as-yet-untitled album, which will be produced by two-time Grammy Award winner, producer/singer-songwriter Joe Henry. The record, which will see Laurie play piano and contribute vocal tracks as well as collaborate with a number of (unnamed) guest musicians, will be distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Records, although an exact release date is yet to be announced.
Describing himself as "drunk with excitement at this opportunity," 51-year-old actor Laurie, who has sung, performed and written music throughout his career, said in a statement: "the history of actors making music is a checkered one, but I promise no one will get hurt."
"I am particularly thrilled to be working with Joe Henry, who has produced some of my favorite records of all time, and I can't wait to get started," he went on to say.
Commenting on the forthcoming album, Warner Music Entertainment president Conrad Withey said in a statement: "The world already knows how wonderfully versatile and talented Hugh is so this first album is an exciting opportunity to put the spotlight on his passion for New Orleans blues."
In addition to the regular blues piano recitals that his character Dr Gregory House performs in the Fox drama series "House," Laurie recently contributed to Meat Loaf's 2010 studio set "Hang Loose, Teddy Bear" (Virgin). He is also the keyboard player in the L.A.-based charity group Band From TV alongside fellow actors Greg Grunberg (drums), James Denton (guitar) and Bob Guiney (vocals).