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