Harry Connick Jr.’s ‘Alone With My Faith’ is His First Album Entirely Dedicated to His Christian Beliefs

By: Laura Bennett

Harry Connick Jr. has made a name for himself as one of our generation’s greatest crooners since his 1987 debut, popping up in all corners of the entertainment industry as an actor, TV host, Broadway star and composer.

Throughout what has been an extraordinary career, family and faith are what Harry’s considered most important, which he dives into on his new album Alone With My Faith.

Written and recorded during the COVID-19 quarantine, Alone with My Faith combines originals including the title track and Benevolent Man, with classics like Old Time Religion and Amazing Grace that journal Harry’s experience of doubt, peace and hope throughout life and lockdown.

The lyrics “My world has changed” are the first you hear, which Harry said in a radio interview are a reflection on the upheaval 2020 brought, and the commonality it created between people.

“This [pandemic] is something we all have in common,” Harry said.

“We all remember what it was like a year ago when we all went into lockdown and I don’t think there’s a corner of this earth that didn’t go through some version of [that].”

He had always wanted to write a gospel album, “but then I started to think maybe I should write a little bit more broadly, and include the whole idea of faith and what it means at a time like we’re in right now”, Harry said.

Source: Official Harry Connick Jr Facebook

Playing all the instruments on the album and performing all the vocal parts – which at times is over 25 tracks, Harry’s heart and skill is completely on display in this project.

Playing all the instruments on the album and performing all the vocal parts – which at times is over 25 tracks, Harry’s heart and skill is completely on display in this project.

Asked whether he’s ever afraid to be so vulnerable, Harry said, “I’m not. That’s one of the benefits of being an artist you know, that even amid the doubt and insecurity that I may possess, I’ve never really worried how the information would be received because it was my perspective. It was my interpretation of life”.

“And if somebody didn’t like the music that’s perfectly OK. I would hope that the people who listen could find some comfort in it, and some peace in it and that it would resonate with them, but I was never really afraid whether people would like it or not. That’s not to presume that everyone’s going to like it, I’m just OK with the fact that it may not be for everyone,” he said.

For many of Harry’s fans, it would come as no surprise that he holds a Christian faith, seeing him include an occasional hymn in his setlists, and hearing his transparency with journalists as they’ve asked about it in previous interviews.

That said, Alone with My Faith is the first time Harry’s dedicated an entire album to his spiritual beliefs.

“People have asked me over the years, if I’m a person of faith, and I’ve always proudly said ‘Yes, I am’.”

“But a gospel album was something that was on the to-do list and I just hadn’t done it yet, so this seemed like a good time to focus in on that,” he said.

“Faith means so much to me. It’s a gift I think that has allowed me to navigate through some tough times. It’s the belief in something that I can’t necessarily see, or even understand, but it’s a gift for me to be able to get peace from the idea that there’s someone else in control, and for me that’s God.”

Raised by a Catholic father and a Jewish mother, Harry inherited a lot of his interest in faith from the discussions they would have around the home, and he also credits them with passing on the work ethic that’s seen his career thrive.

Trying to match the tenacity of his “straight-A” older sister, Harry wanted to succeed from an early age and he “also found that, how do I put this? nobody cares about us”, Harry said smiling.

“Like, you get up in the morning and you get dressed and you go to work, and nobody’s going to do that for you,” he said.

“Any ambitions you have – you are the person who’s in charge of your destiny, and no one’s going to hold your hand and walk you through life.

“You may have support and all that, but if you really want to accomplish something for yourself you have to do it for yourself, and I realised that early on.”

As he’s gotten older, Harry’s also realised that losing his mum to cancer when he was just 13 fuelled his desire to do well in life.

“One of my subconscious motivations is making my mum proud,” Harry said.

“I lost her when I was so young, but maybe the reason I’ve wanted to achieve so much was that she would have been proud of me. I think that’s a big part of it.”

Harry’s dad is certainly proud of his crooning son, delighting in the moment when Harry first shared the new album with him.

harry connick jr instagram post from feb 18

“I still seek my dad’s approval, I really do.

“When I finished [Alone with My Faith] I put headphones on him and I played him the songs, and I remember he would say, ‘Who’s playing the trumpet on that?’ and I would say, ‘That’s me, Pop’, and he would say, ‘Oh that’s pretty good. Who’s playing guitar?’ I said, ‘That’s me, Pop’, and he’d go, ‘That’s pretty good’.

“So when he finished listening to all the songs he took [the headphones off] and said, ‘Yeah this is a good record’. I was like, ‘Phew’. His opinion still matters to me.”

Another motivation for Harry is what the impact will be of his music once it’s out in the world.

“I like the idea of making a change that is positive, whether that be in the world of music, or the world of society, ” Harry said.

“However big or however small, I like to think that maybe something I could do could play a small part in moving the needle forward in terms of how people are treated, or how people are loved.”

In 2005, in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in his hometown of New Orleans, Harry made his intention to do good very practical, touring the city to help raise awareness of people stranded in remote locations.

His actions earned him a Jefferson Award for public service, and he later recounted to Philly Voice, “It didn’t feel like I was doing anything heroic”.

“There were many more people who did a lot more than I did,” Harry continued.

“But it was a horrible feeling – a feeling of desperation, because, for a while there, it looked like the whole city may not come back at all, and if it did, it didn’t look like it was going to be coming back strongly. I was just doing what I could in my small parts.”

One of Harry’s great personal loves is his wife Jill, who he’s been married to since 1994 and raised three adult daughters alongside – Georgia, Charlotte and Sarah.

They, “don’t tie me down, they allow me to fly,” Harry said.

“A friend of mine once said to me, ‘I’m never going to get married because it’ll tie me down’, and I said, ‘Oh my goodness, it’s quite the contrary to that’, because if you meet your best friend and you dedicate your life to making that person the happiest that they can be that’s the most liberating feeling in the world.”

When Harry first met Jill, they read like the perfect Hollywood match: the crooner and the supermodel. But they’ve taken their relationship far beyond the glossy magazine stereotypes and really built a life out of it, which Harry said, “There’s no secret to”.

“We both take it seriously and it’s important to me. You have to make a decision in life: what’s important? You can’t have everything you want, so what are the things you really want? I had to make a choice.

“So sometimes I wouldn’t tour, or sometimes I wouldn’t take a movie because what I wanted the most was my family life. If that part of my life’s in order everything else is cool.”

Harry Connick Jr and his family
Source: Official Harry Connick Jr Twitter

Harry’s new album Alone with My Faith is out now.

Article supplied with thanks to Hope Media.

About the Author: Laura is a media professional, broadcaster and writer from Sydney, Australia.

Feature & Thumbnail images: Official Harry Connick Jr Facebook

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