Harry Connick Jr Alone With My Faith
YouTube/American Idol

Harry Connick Jr Performs Gospel Medley From His New Album 'Alone With My Faith' on 'American Idol'

Is there anything Harry Connick Jr can't do? Not only does he have the voice of an angel and beyond impressive piano playing skills, but the musician has also acted in numerous films in Hollywood and even created his own Broadway musical. He's one busy guy so he didn't let the 2020 pandemic stop him from being creative. He recently released his latest new album, Alone With My Faith, which he completely recorded in his home studio in Connecticut. His daughter Georgia Connick even took the photo that became the album cover and directed two of his new music videos.

"She's a pretty talented director and photographer," Connick told Sounds Like Nashville proudly describing his daughter. "She's special. I'm really proud of her and I really trust her vision. It's a great dynamic to be able to work with your kid and have this kind of shorthand, and be able to trust them because she's so proficient at her craft. It gives me a great sense of security when I'm working with her."

Connick Jr explained to The Tennessean that not only did he arrange every song on the album, but he also sang the background vocals and played all of the instruments. It was quite difficult and time-intensive but it paid off in the end. The new gospel album gives a fresh take on old classics all with that signature Connick Jr twist.

"The drums you hear are real, unless they're an analog drum machine. The synthesizers are actually synths. Those are real trumpets, saxophones, trombones, guitars, harpejjis, chimes, snaps and tambourines. And that's not really what I do. I'm not the drum tech. I don't set the mics up and get levels on the drums. But it worked."

The musician noted that his upbringing in New Orleans made his faith something that was always incredibly important to him. You can definitely hear a nod to New Orleans on the new album.

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"Faith and religion were always present for me in New Orleans. I grew up with a father who was Catholic and we went to church. But there was always some connection in the city, whether you were on a street that said "Saint" in front of it, or the football team the Saints, or the idea of this cross-cultural way of communicating that spoke often of faith. It just seemed to be a common thread throughout the diversity that is New Orleans."

The Emmy and Grammy winner's new album includes a tracklist of classic hymns like "Amazing Grace," "Old Time Religion," and Because He Lives," as well as new songs from Connick Jr such as "Benevolent Man," "Look Who I Found," and "God and My Gospel."

"I've been singing a lot of these songs since I was playing at seven or eight-years-old and anybody who sees me in concert knows that I usually sing songs like 'The Old Rugged Cross' or 'How Great Thou Art,' but I just never did the album, and it just felt like a good time to do it now," Connick tells Sounds Like Nashville.

"I don't know how I would have gotten to this point without faith in my life. The album is really about all levels of it, all the joy, all the doubt and everything in between."

Connick Jr added that the album would have most likely been entirely different if it wasn't made during lockdown. He actually wrote the title track after the album was completed, inspired by his feelings of spending a lot of time alone working on his music during the pandemic last year.

"It was just me in the studio with no musicians, no recording engineers or people setting up microphones. It was a lot of alone time. I thought that was such a great title, so I wrote that song based on exactly what I was feeling, how strange everything seems, new and confusing, and how I felt as a result of my faith that I was going to get through it."

A month after releasing his new album, Connick Jr returned to the American Idol stage where he had previously served as a mentor. But this time he performed an amazing medley of his songs from Alone With My Faith. It was the first time he'd performed in front of people since the pandemic and following the performance, he told host Ryan Seacrest "it's so good" to be back in front of an audience.

This article was originally published in March of 2021. It was updated on April 20, 2021. 

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