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Madeleine Peyroux with guest opener The Sonya Kitchell Trio

Featuring: Madeleine Peyroux, vocals/rhythm guitar
Sam Yahel, hammond b3 & piano
Matt Penman, bass
Scott Amendola, drums


With her stunning debut album Dreamland, Madeleine Peyroux was greeted with a veritable torrent of gushing reviews. Most raved about her smoke-and-whiskey vocals, often comparing her to the late, great Billie Holiday. Others wondered how someone so young could perform classic songs by Holiday, Bessie Smith and Patsy Cline so convincingly as to make them sound like her own. Time magazine pronounced the groundbreaking Dreamland “the most exciting, involving vocal performance by a new singer this year.”

Peyroux, a 22-year-old American who had been living in Paris as a street musician, suddenly found herself on the fast track to fame. Appearances at Lilith Fair and jazz festivals, and opening tours for Sarah McLachlan and Cesaria Evora followed, while Dreamland’s sales reached an impressive 200,000 copies worldwide. “It was great,” recalls Peyroux. “I got to perform with fantastic musicians. I got to see Nina Simone live. I could’ve kept running with it, but instead I stepped back and took a breather.”

Born in Georgia, Peyroux grew up in Paris and New York. Very quickly, Peyroux got hooked on French culture and began singing with groups of talented street musicians in the Latin Quarter, including the Riverboat Shufflers and The Lost Wandering Blues and Jazz Band, with whom she toured Europe. Several years later, while visiting New York, she was spotted performing in a club, by an Atlantic Records A&R rep. Yves Beauvais, who eventually signed her and co-produced Dreamland.

All of the initial reviews that greeted Dreamland focused on the Billie Holiday resemblance. “Like Holiday,” wrote Time magazine, “Peyroux has a bittersweet, brokenhearted alto; she lingers and slides off notes, finding emotion in the slow, sad, fade rather than the obvious vocal burst.” But perceptive reviewers noted that Peyroux wasn’t imitating Lady Day. As acclaimed pianist Cyrus Chestnut, who played on Dreamland, put it: “[Peyroux] has her own story to tell: with her voice, her heart, her spirit.”

With Careless Love, Peyroux is once again proving herself to be an original interpreter and an open receptor to songs from earlier eras—an artist who channels vintage jazz and blues with chilling accuracy. “I feel very lucky to be part of a tradition of songwriting that stands the test of time,” says Peyroux. “I also feel lucky to be able to go back and perform as much as I did before—I can’t wait.” Adds Peyroux, with characteristic modesty: “I’m very eager to know what the reaction to the record will be. We did something that felt good. I hope we touch a chord with people.” With its sweet, bewitching sound, there’s no doubt that Careless Love will do just that.