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Madeleine Peyroux

Vocalist Madeleine Peyroux is an acclaimed performer with a dusky, lyrical style and bent toward covering jazz and blues standards along with her own folky originals. Bursting onto the international scene in the '90s, Peyroux drew favorable comparisons to Billie Holiday. While her intimate sound certainly owes a debt to Holiday, Peyroux has carved out her own distinctive stylistic niche, balancing a modern pop sensibility with a respect for older vocal traditions.

Born in Athens, Georgia in 1973, Peyroux grew up in Southern California and Brooklyn, before moving to Paris with her mother at age 13 after her parents' divorce. It was there that Peyroux began singing, inspired by the street musicians of Paris' Latin Quarter. By 1989, she was performing as a member of the old-timey jazz band the Riverboat Shufflers. Around age 16, she joined another vintage-inspired ensemble, the Lost & Wandering Blues & Jazz Band, and spent several years touring around Europe performing jazz standards by such legends as Fats Waller, Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, and others.

Peyroux eventually caught the ear of Atlantic Records A&R man Yves Beauvais, who signed her to a recording contract. In 1996, she released her debut album, Dreamland. Featuring a lineup of top-level New York jazz musicians, including pianist Cyrus Chestnut, drummer Leon Parker, guitarists Vernon Reid and Marc Ribot, and saxophonist/clarinetist James Carter, the album showcased Peyroux's genre-crossing approach to standards from the 1920s and '30s. Along with songs like Fats Waller's "I'm Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter," Billie Holiday's "Gettin' Some Fun Out of Life," and Bessie Smith's "Lovesick Blues," Peyroux also recorded three of her own tunes on Dreamland, including "Always a Use," on which she accompanied herself on guitar.

Although Peyroux continued to tour and perform live, it took another eight years for her finish her follow-up, 2004's Careless Love. Working with producer Larry Klein at Rounder Records, Peyroux expanded her approach to included a more contemporary, stylistically wide-ranging set of covers, including Elliott Smith's "Between the Bars," Bob Dylan's "You're Going to Make Me Lonesome," and Hank Williams' "Weary Blues." The album received wide critical acclaim and achieved gold certification status in several countries, including the United States.

On the heels of her sophomore success, Peyroux returned in 2006 with the Klein-produced Half the Perfect World. Along with standards and reworkings of songs by Serge Gainsbourg and Tom Waits, the highly anticipated album also featured a duet with k.d. lang. The well-received album reached number 33 on the Billboard 200. Her third Rounder release, 2009's Bare Bones, found Peyroux developing her sound even further with a set of all-original compositions, some co-written with producer Klein, Steely Dan's Walter Becker, and guitarist Julian Coryell. Although somewhat of a creative gamble, the album was welcomed by her fans and debuted at number one on the Billboard jazz chart.

After some time off, Peyroux returned in 2011 with Standing on the Rooftop for Decca. Produced by Craig Street, the album featured Peyroux backed by a stellar lineup of musicians including violinist Jenny Scheinman, guitarists Marc Ribot and Chris Bruce, bassist Meshell Ndegeocello, and drummer Charlie Drayton. Also included were guest appearances from Patrick Warren and Allen Toussaint, among others. Along with eight originals, Peyroux delivered elegant renditions of the Beatles' "Martha My Dear," Bob Dylan's "I Threw It All Away," and Robert Johnson's "Love in Vain."

For her next album, 2013's Klein-produced The Blue Room, Peyroux drew inspiration from Ray Charles' revolutionary 1962 recording Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music. Along with tracks from Charles' original, the album found Peyroux reworking contemporary songs in a similar fashion, many with orchestral backing featuring arrangements by Vince Mendoza. The album garnered a Grammy nomination for Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical.

In 2016, Peyroux celebrated 20 years as a recording artist with the release of her seventh studio album, Secular Hymns. One of her most eclectic albums to date, the album featured a mix of soul, jazz, blues, and dub sounds, including covers of songs by Townes Van Zandt, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Willie Dixon, Linton Kwesi Johnson, and others. ~ Matt Collar
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: The Blue Room

2. Bye Bye Love

3. Changing All Those Changes

4. Born To Lose

5. Guilty

6. Bird On The Wire

7. I Can't Stop Loving You

8. Gentle On My Mind

9. You Dont Know Me

10. Desperadoes Under The Eaves

x

Track List: Standing On The Rooftop

1. Martha My Dear

2. The Kind You Can't Afford

3. The Things I've Seen Today

4. Fickle Dove

5. Lay Your Sleeping Head, My Love

6. Standing On The Rooftop

7. I Threw It All Away

8. Love In Vain

9. Don't Pick A Fight With A Poet

10. Meet Me In Rio

11. Ophelia

12. The Way Of All Things

x

Track List: Half The Perfect World

1. I'm All Right

2. Summer Wind

3. Blue Alert

4. Everybody's Talking

5. River

6. A Little Bit

7. Once In A While

8. (Looking For) The Heart Of Saturday Night

9. Half The Perfect World

10. La Javanese

11. California Raining

12. Smile

x

Track List: Careless Love

1. Dance Me To The End Of Love

2. Don't Wait Too Long

3. Don't Cry Baby

4. You're Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go

5. Between The Bars

6. No More

7. Lonesome Road

8. J'ai Deux Amours

9. Weary Blues

10. I'll Look Around

11. Careless Love

12. This Is Heaven To Me

x

Track List: Dreamland

1. Walkin' After Midnight

2. Hey Sweet Man

3. I'm Gonna Sit Right Down And Write Myself A Letter

4. (Getting Some) Fun Out Of Life

5. La Vie En Rose

6. Always A Use

7. A Prayer

8. Muddy Water

9. Was I?

10. Dreamland

11. Reckless Blues

12. Lovesick Blues

x

Track List: Bare Bones

1. Instead

2. Bare Bones

3. Damn The Circumstances

4. River Of Tears

5. You Can't Do Me

6. Love And Treachery

7. Our Lady Of Pigalle

8. Homeless Happiness

9. To Love You All Over Again

10. I Must Be Saved

11. Somethin' Grand

x

Track List: Everything I Do Gonh Be Funky (From Now On) (Single)

1. Everything I Do Gonh Be Funky (From Now On)

x

Track List: Keep Me In Your Heart For A While: The Best Of Madeleine Peyroux

1. Don't Wait Too Long

2. You're Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go

3. Between The Bars

4. (Getting Some) Fun Out Of Life

5. Dance Me To The End Of Love

6. Smile

7. La Vie En Rose

8. Half The Perfect World

9. Guilty

10. I'm All Right

11. Desperadoes Under The Eaves (Extended Version)

12. The Kind You Can't Afford

13. Instead

14. Keep Me In Your Heart

15. This Is Heaven To Me

x

Track List: Secular Hymns

1. Got You On My Mind

2. Tango Till They’re Sore

3. The Highway Kind

4. Everything I Do Gonh Be Funky (From Now On)

5. If The Sea Was Whiskey

6. Hard Times Come Again No More

7. Hello Babe

8. More Time

9. Shout Sister Shout

10. Trampin

Comments

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cant wait to see you in Nashville ,you are fantastic!
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Lovely torch music... Vive La France!
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OK !!!!!!!!!!!! ! !
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Beautiful voice. She is the modern day billion holiday. Just wonderful
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justinjenny4 9 5
❤❤❤❤❤
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LIKE !!!!!!!!!!!!
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Her songs are timeless and will continue to love her music.
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Between the Bars - can't get enough of that beautiful, haunting melody
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Nice review of this sweet little tune
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I'm happy! ;D
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jazzy, great vocals
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Lovin it
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Smooth and Sultry
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Gotta say I LOVE her voice!
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mimilezo, me too!
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LIKE !!!!!!!!!!
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Speaks to my soul and rythem; and I am from Iraq.
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cbaker24
One of our favorites. Fortunate to have seen her when she played in San Diego and she was fantastic. Super-talent e d and soulful young lady.
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LIKE !!!!!!!
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Billie Holiday is alive and well . Beautiful .
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OK !!!!!!!!!!!
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Cool
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Summer Wind really brings out the soft side of Peyroux's sensual voice! Love the versatility of her talent. She is Great! ✨✨✨
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Mellow Yellow. Where is the hammock? Shout out to Christie Burke...Smil e .
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LIKE !!!!!!!!!!!! !
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wonderful concert last night in Va.
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jesusjessica 2 3
Dope! @ tatzilla1
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Love love her!
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meshagl
great!

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MOLTO HARMONIOSO ! ! ! ! !
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LIKE !!!!!!!!!!!! !
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She is a more smoother Billie Holiday!!!
The vocal style is so strikingly similar...sh e has a more smoother/sul t r y transition..
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Thats' Sensuality.. . . . .
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Man, I love Pandora so so so much! It introduces amazing artists that I've never heard of like Madeleine Peyroux. <3 I need to find more artists who made great music in the 90s!
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elollie
Que Bonita
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Saw Madeleine Peyroux at Ridgefield Playhouse last night (6/23/15). What an amazing voice live! And she is also very funny. Great band too.
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p2aguados
Great!!
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p2aguados
Great!!
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ckfraz
Me like!
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Voix enchanteress e Anewquisite.
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I love her version of Bob Dylan`s careless love, i just love her period
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Manhattan est belle!!
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chieftyee
Right...Skel l y and Rovi…Billie was a blues singer even though her renditions of dozens of standard songs are still are considered the most imitated versions of those songs.
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Wow! She has an amazing voice and a great talent, and I don't even speak French. This style of music is still fantastic. Keep up the good work, Madeleine! c:
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a happy morning
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itsme57us
I love her so much!! I would like to see her on tour!! Je t'aime Madelaine!! I can't wait for her next CD!!!!!
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@ bwilnow: me too
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Absolutely intoxicating I dont even know french but I love this music with a passion
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OK !!!!!!!!!
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Her version of Dance Me to the End is extraordinar y !
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