Over the last two decades, John C. Reilly has appeared in dozens of prominent film roles. Some have been dramatic, some comedic; and, in a few turns, such as in Chicago, A Prairie Home Companion, and Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story, he has exhibited an unexpectedly well-developed musical side.
The latest role he has inhabited has been that of a full-time musician mining the classic bluegrass, country, and folk songbooks.
“There’s so much good music out there. I mean, I joke around and say, ‘there’s gold in them hills,’ you know! Until I can write a song that’s as good or even comes close to being as good as a song like ‘Angel Band,’ I think we’re going to keep mining the hills of the past.”
He has released two 45s produced by Jack White, and has embarked on a weeklong tour of the Midwest with his band, John Reilly and Friends, stopping at Radio Radio in Indianapolis on Thursday, June 20.
WFIU’s John Bailey caught up with John C. Reilly to discuss his search for unusual venues to play, overlooked songs to celebrate, and new challenges to tackle.