MADELINE PEYROUX FACTS:
Genre: Jazz, Blues
Hometown: Athens, Georgia
Albums: Dreamland, Got You on My Mind, with William Galison (Waking Up), Careless Love, Half the Perfect World, Bare Bones, Standin' On The Rooftop
Both in terms of vocals and instrumentation, there aren’t many artists as unique as Madeleine Peyroux. A talented guitar and ukulele player, Peyroux has a distinct voice that fits perfectly with the original brand of jazz she has produced for the last decade. With roots firmly planted in street performing, she has managed to successfully make the transition based solely on her talent and artistic drive.
After years of playing on the streets of Paris, Peyroux got her big break in 1996 with the release of her debut album Dreamland. The record was composed mostly of covers of classic jazz songs including "Walkin' After Midnight" and "La Vie En Rose," and earned her widespread recognition among jazz fans. Some critics compared her powerful voice to that of Billie Holiday - certainly a big compliment for an up-and-coming singer.
Despite the popularity of debut, Peyroux returned to street performing throughout the French capital soon after. For the rest of the '90s and the early part of the 2000s, fans were deprived of any new material from Peyroux. However, in 2004 she returned with the album Careless Love, which was met with positive reviews from both critics and fans alike. Many industry experts cited the fact that she was a rare gem - a young singer who appreciated classic tunes and did them well in paying homage. The album once again featured some well-known classics including a cover of the Bob Dylan tune "You're Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go."
Much of her early career was made up of covering other songs, but by 2009 she entered new territory when she released a record comprised entirely of original material. Perhaps she should have done so sooner, as Peyroux apparently has a flair for songwriting as well. Thanks to tracks such as "Instead" and "You Can't Do Me," the album was a commercial and critical success - peaking at number one on the Billboard jazz charts, and even having a respectable showing on the Billboard 200 - an impressive feat for a musician of her ilk.
Though Peyroux's public persona is closely guarded, her music does all the speaking necessary. With a voice like none other and a sound that hearkens back to the classic of yesteryear, she will surely be around for years to come.
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