Harry Connick Jr. has achieved a lot during his prolonged profession, from successful a number of Grammys and Emmys to promoting over 25 million albums and starring in such Hollywood hits as “Independence Day” and “Hope Floats.”
On a purely musical word, he has recorded each instrumental and vocal efforts, delivered Christmas albums in addition to a Tony-nominated unique Broadway rating, and he’s centered his skills on every thing from Dixieland to funk to requirements.
Oh, and he additionally discovered time to be a decide on TV’s “American Idol.” (But we received’t maintain that towards him.)
Yet going into 2020, the one factor that Connick had by no means managed to do was file a religion-primarily based music album.
And now he can verify that one off his checklist as effectively.
The multi-proficient star spent a part of his time during the COVID-19 lockdown in his dwelling studio, recording such basic hymns as “Amazing Grace,” “The Old Rugged Cross” and “How Great Thou Art” in addition to different religion-oriented materials.
The result’s the newly launched “Alone With My Faith,” which is Connick’s first studio providing since 2019’s “True Love: A Celebration of Cole Porter.”
Q: Take me again to March 2020. There’s a pandemic brewing, your tour is being canceled, and half of America decides to cuddle up on the sofa and watch Netflix. Instead of becoming a member of us on the sofa, why’d you determine the time was proper to file an album?
A: Well, full disclosure — I watched as a lot Netflix as anyone else.
Q: Yeah, however sooner or later you presumably turned off Netflix — at the very least lengthy sufficient to make an album.
A: I wished to make some music. I used to be one of many fortunate ones that was capable of quarantine and sort of keep at dwelling. One of the concepts that had been floating round in my head for some time was a gospel album. I began desirous about some tunes. There was no recording engineer, no musicians, so I went into my dwelling studio and began recording every thing myself.
As I did a few these tunes, I’m having some emotions, sort of all around the map, about religion and spirituality, simply primarily based on what was happening in our world. So, I wrote some tunes and I included these with the standard songs. And it form of become extra of a religion album than a gospel album. I don’t know if I’d have recorded this precise set of songs had this pandemic not occurred. So I really feel grateful for that likelihood.
Q: And you took the entire solo album idea to the intense right here, enjoying all of the devices, singing all of the components, arranging all of the music. Basically every thing on it’s you, proper?
A: Literally every thing. Yes.
Q: Even the horns? Backing vocals? That sort of every thing?
A: Absolutely each word you hear.
Q: You know, such a gaudy show of overwhelming inventive potential isn’t going to win you any reputation factors with me, provided that my spouse simply likes to remind that “Harry Connick is just so talented. He can do everything.” Where had been your considerations for me in all this?
A: Listen, you speak to my spouse (actress/mannequin Jill Goodacre) and all these considerations can be answered. That’s all I can say. As a lot as your spouse thinks I can do something, Jill would say, “Oh, my goodness — we know how far from the truth that is.” She’d be the primary to let you know.
Q: Well, at the very least you didn’t try to direct the album’s first video — for “Amazing Grace” — or take the album cowl photographs your self. You left these to your daughter Georgia. It appears that expertise runs within the household.
A: Yeah, I’m actually happy with our children. We have three daughters. Georgia is the oldest — she’s 24 — and she or he’s all the time been fascinated about movie and enhancing and all that. She went to NYU movie college for some time and received totally different certifications for the issues she wanted.
It got here time to shoot the album cowl and I stated, “Well, we are home. We can’t really be around anybody. Do you want to take the picture?” So we went as much as the woods and shot the image.
Then it got here time to do the video — identical sort of factor. It was simply me, Georgia, hair/make-up individuals and our second daughter Kate, who was holding the reflectors and stuff.
Q: Did you recognize what sort of album you wished to file proper from the beginning?
A: I knew sooner or later I wished to make a gospel album. But had the pandemic not occurred, I most likely would’ve simply, sooner or later, picked 12 of favourite religious tunes and recorded them with a band — like I’d usually do.
But as a result of this occurred, I actually had an opportunity to select some tunes that I wished to sing but in addition wrote some new songs.
So I actually didn’t know the place it was going. It was only a matter of writing issues in actual time and desirous about our shared expertise and all the professionals and cons of going by way of this sort of factor.
Q: How did you prep for recording these tunes associated to your religion? Did you spend time praying or studying the Bible earlier than going into the studio?
A: I don’t actually take into consideration issues an excessive amount of earlier than I am going into the studio, until it’s a giant orchestral file the place I’ve to write down all of the charts out.
In phrases of the performances — it doesn’t matter what I’m feeling, if I’m having a very good day or a foul day, if I sing “The Old Rugged Cross,” I’ll instantly get into no matter headspace I must be in for that.
But the opposite songs got here because of — typically I wakened and I doubted my religion. I didn’t doubt the existence of God. But I doubted the power of my religion. And I wrote about it. Other days, I felt on prime of the world and I wrote about that too. And every thing in between.
But there was no form of preparation that I did aside from being 53 and dwelling my life and being at this level.