John C Reilly & Friends - St Andrew’s in the Square, Glasgow, Tue 12 Feb 2013
Actor takes country band on the road as part of Wreck-It Ralph publicity tour
’We got the Death Star to work for us,’ laughs John C Reilly, actor, singer, raconteur and star of Disney offering Wreck-It Ralph, explaining the novel approach to around-the-world publicity junkets he managed to talk the megacorpration into.
Instead of the usual paid-for assistant and/or stylist, he reasoned, ‘what if I just brought the band?’ Not the full eight-piece with which he exercises his love of country and roots music (Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story wasn’t a million miles from real life), but as a skilled and authentic guitar and voice trio consisting of the Stetson-wearing Reilly, vocalist Becky Stark and singer-songwriter Tom Brosseau, all clustered around an old-style vintage mic and performing classic country standards with spirit and soul.
The trio take turns to sing, sometimes leaving the stage for a song or two, and their gently amusing chatter belies three skilful talents. Reilly is possibly the least capable of the three, but his voice is still a raw and pleasing Merle Haggard twang, and his stage-working ability is supreme (amusing comments in favour of Scottish Independence won big cheers). In turn, the chirpily eccentric Stark has a fallen angel’s voice on highlights such as Dolly Parton’s ‘My Blue Tears’ and Phil Ochs’ ‘There but for Fortune’, and the shy Brosseau sounds positively otherworldy on a cover of Lonnie Johnson’s ‘St Louis Blues’.