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Emmy_Rossum3_copy
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Sam Jones. (click for larger version)
New York City native Emmy Rossum is the star of Showtime's dark comedy series "Shameless" with William H. Macy. But when Rossum is not playing the shocking role of the lovable-yet-troubled Fiona Gallagher she is a studied songstess. At age seven, Rossum was a member of the Metropoliton Opera Children's Chorus. Last year she released Sentimental Journey, a collection of covers of American standards that span the '20s to the '60s.

"I grew up surrounded by classical music singing in the Children's Chorus at The Metropolitan Opera and when I would come home, the house was filled with the voices of Frank Sinatra, Sam Cooke, and Judy Garland," Rossum said. "For as long as I can remember, my mother would sing 'Apple Blossom Time' to me as a bedtime lullaby. Classics, jazz, and standards really infused my childhood and so it felt quite natural to finally make this record."

The album's highlights include its title track, which was a No. 1 hit for Les Brown and Doris Day in 1945. "These Foolish Things," a '30s standard that has been recorded by everyone from Nat King Cole and Bing Crosby to Rod Stewart and Michael Bublé, is a great representation done by Rossum. "Summer Wind," which was popularized by Frank Sinatra in 1966, also graces the album.

"Whenever I have an artistic compulsion, I follow it," she said. "For a while I had been feeling a strong desire to make music again and a strong desire to make this kind of music - songs written and recorded before music became synthesized and computerized-sounding, when it was just simple, beautiful songs and someone standing up and singing them. I know there are generations that are familiar with this music and the original versions, but there's also a whole generation that isn't and I really want to share these songs with that younger generation as well."

No stranger to the Hamptons, Rossum was included in the Breakthrough Performers at the Hamptons International Film Festival in 2009 alongside Emma Stone and Rooney Mara. She was in good company with past participants including Adam Driver, Alexander Skarsgard, Jessica Chastain, Emily Blunt, and Blake Lively. Even with her busy acting career, making Sentimental Journey was a project close to Rossum's heart.

"I wanted the record to sound authentically of the era, which is why I had all the musicians play live together in one room while I sang on a vintage mic in the vocal booth," Rossum described.

"Each song needed to either lyrically or emotionally reflect the corresponding month," Rossum explained. "Some songs were obvious fits, like 'Summer Wind' for June, 'Apple Blossom Time' for May, 'Autumn Leaves' for October, and 'Pretty Paper' for December. Other songs were less literal fits. I chose 'Nobody Knows You (When You're Down and Out)' for September because, to me, the plaintive melody and lyric emotionally reflect the cold weather creeping in and the sense of melancholy we can get in the fall months." 

Lucky for us September is a whole summer away!

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