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Madeleine Peyroux

Vocalist Madeleine Peyroux is an acclaimed performer with a dusky, lyrical style and a 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
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Stations Featuring
Madeleine Peyroux

    Jazz Mix

    Jazz Mix
    3 songs

    Romantic Jazz

    Romantic Jazz
    5 songs

    Jazz Vocalists

    Jazz Vocalists
    6 songs

    French Classics

    French Classics
    1 song

    Coffeehouse Corner

    2 songs

    Modern Jazz

    1 song

Albums by
Madeleine Peyroux

Top Songs by
Madeleine Peyroux

  1.   Song
  2.   The Summer Wind
  3.   Don't Wait Too Long
  4.   Dance Me to the End of Love
  5.   Smile
  6.   I'm All Right
  7.   Everybody's Talkin'
  8.   The Kind You Can't Afford
  9.   La Vie en Rose
  10.   Careless Love
  11.   Between the Bars
  12.   You're Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go
  13.   Half the Perfect World
  14.   J'Ai Deux Amours
  15.   A Little Bit
  16.   I'm Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter
  17.   Weary Blues from Waitin'
  18.   California Rain
  19.   You Can't Do Me
  20.   Keep Me in Your Heart
  21.   Homeless Happiness
  22.   Somethin' Grand
  23.   A Prayer
  24.   I Think It's Going to Rain Today
  25.   Got You on My Mind
  26.   Trampin'
  27.   More Time
  28.   The Highway Kind
  29.   You Don't Know Me
  30.   Gentle on My Mind
  31.   I Can't Stop Loving You
  32.   Changing All Those Changes
  33.   Superhero
  34.   Don't Pick a Fight With a Poet
  35.   Crazy
  36.   Please Baby
  37.   Our Lady of Pigalle
  38.   Love and Treachery
  39.   Bare Bones
  40.   No More
  41.   Lonesome Road
  42.   La Javanaise
  43.   I Threw It All Away
  44.   River
  45.   Guilty
  46.   Reckless Blues
  47.   Once in a While
  48.   This Is Heaven to Me
  49.   The Way of All Things
  50.   Desperadoes Under the Eaves
  51.   Blue Alert
  52.   River of Tears
  53.   The Party Oughta Be Comin' Soon
  54.   I'll Look Around
  55.   Lay Your Sleeping Head, My Love
  56.   (Looking For) The Heart of Saturday Night
  57.   Leaving Home Again
  58.   Fickle Dove
  59.   Walkin' After Midnight
  60.   Hello Babe
  61.   Hard Times Come Again No More
  62.   Shout Sister Shout
  63.   Tango Till They're Sore
  64.   Everything I Do Gonh Be Funky (From Now On)
  65.   Moon River by Lang Lang
  66.   Bird on the Wire
  67.   Bye Bye Love
  68.   Wild Card in the Hole
  69.   Ophelia
  70.   Meet Me in Rio
  71.   Love in Vain
  72.   The Things I've Seen Today featuring Charley Drayton
  73.   Instead
  74.   I Must Be Saved
  75.   Damn the Circumstances
  76.   Give Your Mama One Smile
  77.   Don't Cry Baby
  78.   Hey Sweet Man
  79.   (Getting Some) Fun Out of Life
  80.   Always a Use