John C. Reilly (Chicago, Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story) will be recording some more rootsy folk covers this summer, possibly resulting in a full-length album.
“We hope to do (an album),” Reilly told Billboard. “We get asked about that a lot, especially at shows. The songs aren’t going anywhere. They’re as old as the hills. It’s almost like borrowing the music from the audience and playing it back for them, and it ends up being like a community experience. I’m not saying I’m as good as the people that came before me, but I’m still alive, and someone’s gotta carry the torch.”
The Chicago native called it a “labor of love” and “a really rewarding thing to do — not to make money, certainly, or to get famous or whatever. It’s just really moving music to play and share with people.”
Reilly will most likely work with members of his usual performance collective, like Tom Brosseau, Becky Stark (the Decemberists), Dan Bern, bassist Sebastian Steinberg and former Old Crow Medicine Show member Willie Watson. And Jack White, who played Elvis Presley in Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story, offered to record Reilly’s material at his studio in Nashville.
“I thought, ‘This is an opportunity I should not pass up,’” Reilly said. He also added that the songs on the Americana and folk cover album would be played “faithfully to the original intent and the original style of playing.”
The actor recently starred in and co-wrote the animated feature Wreck-It Ralph and will appear in Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues, but is focused on music for now.
Reilly has previously released two singles through White and Third Man — Ray Price’s “I’ll Be There (If You Want Me)” and a cover of “Gonna Lay Down My Old Guitar” by the Delmore Brothers — that you can hear live below.
“Gonna Lay Down My Old Guitar with Tom Brosseau:
“I’ll Be There (If You Ever Want Me)” with Becky Stark: