From Eva to Rhine to Joe to Hugh

I’m LOVING Qobuz - yes, because of the audio quality, but almost more because of the ability to relate things. I have Apple Music too, but it’s not nearly as good in that regard. So a couple days ago I was exploring a little deeper the recordings of Eva Cassidy. One thing these streaming services do is when you get to the end of the album you’re playing, they process an algorithm based on your listening habits and start playing something they choose based on that. Sometimes it irritates me - DAMMIT - I didn’t tell you to play something else! - but more often I’m intrigued by what it plays, especially when it’s someone I’ve never heard of - DAMMIT, why the heck have I never heard of THEM?

This time it choose a track from the 2011 album “The Long Surrender” by the “indie” folk group Over the Rhine (and no, it wasn’t because I was listening to Eva’s recording of “Over the Rhinebow”). I really like it, then I found that the album was produced by Joe Henry and I LOVE his own albums and his production work for others - it has a rough-hewn sound that really grabs me - an audiophile sensibility that is really unique.

Then I looked down the list of albums Joe Henry has produced and found 2 blues albums by Hugh Laurie. Uh, you mean HOUSE? The opioid-addicted doctor on TV? HE did blues albums? Aside from being opioid-addicted, I couldn’t find any potential commonalities with a blues musician, but I figured if Joe produced it, maybe it’s worth a listen. And BOY, is Let Them Talk worth a listen! Is House a good blues singer, guitarist, pianist? Wellllll, sometimes - but did he and Joe Henry produce a great Blues album? ABSOLUTELY. There’s something about the overall production - including the sound quality - that give this a “greater than the sum of its parts” blues feeling.

Here are the Qobuz album links:

Over the Rhine

Hugh Laurie


Hugh Laurie got to demonstrate his piano skills a couple of times in his ancient “Jeeves and Wooster” TV series. Admittedly in a silly context, but still. I wasn’t surprised then when he released Let Them Talk, which I recall as a pretty darned good New Orleans-style piano album, several years ago.

It’s fascinating - yes, New Orleans is in there a LOT, but a whole lot of other influences, and Joe Henry’s rich production. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but there’s something really effective about how “white” Laurie is - he doesn’t swing, but there’s something about his feel for it that works. And he has some good guest stars to do some swinging singing. I need to listen again more for his piano and guitar talents, although there is another guitarist and it’s hard to tell them apart.

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I love exploring old favorites and new music/artists this way as well.

For me, Roon Radio is the cat’s meow in this regard.



I have a good friend I used to work with in radio back in the early 1980s. We re-connected a few years ago and one thing that hasn’t changed about him is that he’s always looking for new music, and listens deeply. He was trained in classical music, but applies a similar critique to alternative rock, fusion jazz, bluegrass, and many other formats. He’s the only post-60 year-old I know who’d ask, “Have you heard the latest album by the Tune Yards?” Then he leaves to do a classical shift at WFMT in Chicago. I’ve tried to get him more interested in high-end audio, but he’s fine with a system as long as he can hear most of what’s going on. Every time I talk to him, he introduces me to more music than I could listen to in a year, but it’s sure fun trying.


The one thing I most miss by accessing Qobuz with the app that comes with my new Eversolo streamer is that this feature is not included. Instead, when the last song on an album ends it just cycles back to the beginning of the album.

Not sure I’d like that either. I like what Qobuz has chosen so far, but I guess I’m kind of “old school” in when an album or CD ends, you get up and find something else to play. Just imagine.

I’m new Qobuz too and I’m loving it.

An old friend of mine used to go see Over The Rhine when they played around Cincinnati. He turned me on to them and sent me their first CD at some point. Honestly, I don’t know how their song Suitcase from the Ohio album wasn’t given more play. They have always had that Octave Records vibe… could totally see them going that route today.

If you set up Qobuz via the desktop app to continue in “radio mode” after your selected album finishes it should do it on every device you have that is logged into your account.

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I didn’t know that. I don’t use a desktop for Qobuz. Used iPad only before. I may have to log in on one and give it a try.

You’ll need to download the desktop app to a PC or laptop then go to Settings-Music Playing-Playback and turn on continue playing music after your queue has ended. Does basically the same thing as Roon Radio. Same feature is available separately in JPlay for IOS too. Also make sure your streaming quality matches your subscription.

Well hell, of COURSE it would have options. I guess the default is to treat you with something algorithmically appropriate.

That’s HILARIOUS - I too thought “These guys should be on Octave” - amazing how quickly a label can attain a “sound.”

What was even more surprising about the Rhine was how many albums they had out. I guess it’s not quite like the old days where having several albums meant you had to have the backing and budget of major labels, but still, the amount of work involved…

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