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John C. Reilly Records Country Duets for Jack White’s Label

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In ‘Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story,’ actor John C. Reilly took aim at musician-biopic conventions, using Joaquin Phoenix‘s portrayal of Johnny Cash as a jumping-off point for some irreverent, over-the-top comedy.

But it turns out John has some genuine country chops. Earlier this week, Third Man Records — the Nashville label run by former White Stripes leader Jack White — issued a pair of straight-faced singles recorded by the Oscar-nominated actor.

Both are duets of honky-tonk classics, and both showcase John’s surprisingly solid voice. The big-screen comedian teams with singer Tom Brosseau for the Delmore Brothers‘ ‘Gonna Lay Down My Old Guitar,’ a lonesome troubadour’s deathbed lament.

Tom handles the high part, John takes the low, and organ and drums swell up in the background, adding dramatic oomph in the closing seconds.

‘I’ll Be There (If Ever You Want Me)’ — a 1954 hit for Ray Price — pairs John with Becky Johns and features a pluckier sound anchored by pedal steel and piano.

Jack White — who had a memorable cameo as a karate-chopping Elvis Presley in ‘Dewey Cox’ — played drums on and produced both cuts, which are available digitally and on 7″ vinyl record.

Watch John C. Reilly & Jack White in ‘Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story’

Watch ‘Unscripted With Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly’

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