Bluegrass-loving actor John C Reilly jumps into a Black Cab Session and ends up in Holborn

Alice Jones' Arts Diary

It was a chance encounter in a Nashville parking lot that did it. Chris Pattinson, music director of the Black Cab Sessions, the cult online series in which rock stars are filmed playing their favourite song in the back of a taxi, was waiting for Jack White to show up for filming when the actor John C Reilly walked by.

“He wanted to know where we had found a black cab in America. He has always wanted one,” recalls Pattinson, who then persuaded the star to appear on film as the driver of White’s cab.

It turns out that Reilly has been building a musical career on the side, playing with White at SXSW last year and releasing two singles, including a cover of Dolly Parton’s “Making Plans”, on White’s Third Man label.

Two weeks ago, he called Pattinson to ask him to find “a small church with great acoustics” for a one-off London gig. St Giles-in-the-Fields in Holborn was booked and Reilly and band will make their UK debut next Thursday. “It’s good, traditional bluegrass,” says Pattinson.

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