The exquisite, beguiling Madeleine Peyroux has always excelled at interpreting the beautiful words of others. Whether it’s Patsy Cline’s “Walking After Midnight,” “Dance Me Till the End of Love” by Leonard Cohen or Dylan’s “You’re Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go”, the Georgia-born, streets of Paris-trained jazz-folk-Americana singer extracts surprising emotions from the lyrics. But she owns them and from song-to-song, the feelings seem almost chameleon-like- going from cool seductiveness, to world-weary resignation to a vulnerable ache.
On her latest Decca release The Blue Room, Peyroux half re-makes Ray Charles masterful 1962 genre-buster Modern Sounds of Country and Western Music. The rest of it sees her tackling familiar writers and some surprising ones. And while the album is awash in strings, for her recent Sunny Side Up session, we’re treated to just a guitar and her voice.