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Harry Connick Jr. may team with Garth Brooks

But ”The Iron Giant” star questions whether the big-hatted one can make the move to orchestral music

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Harry Connick Jr.
Stephen Trupp/Star Max

Garth Brooks recently asked Harry Connick Jr. to arrange a couple of orchestral and big band songs for the country star’s upcoming Christmas album. If that sounds like an odd pairing to you, Connick’s on your side. He told EW Online that it would be interesting to cook up some numbers for Brooks, although he’s not sure that Brooks can switch genres so easily.

”You can’t just jump into that kind of music,” says Connick, who has only had one conversation with Brooks and still isn’t sure whether the collaboration will actually happen. ”You have to live that life. That’d be like me doing a country song. If you throw me in a room with a bunch of steel guitar players and ask me to sing a country tune, I’m gonna get my behind kicked, because that’s not what I do. But (Garth) has got a lot of hidden talents, so he sounds like a pretty complex guy.”

A pairing with Brooks would mark the second time Connick has undertaken offbeat projects this year. When he was in the studio recording the voice of a beatnik for the animated adventure ”The Iron Giant,” he found taping dialogue a far cry from crooning. ”I don’t feel as comfortable having a guy two feet away from me monitoring every syllable and saying, ‘We need to do it again,”’ says Connick. ”When I sing, I’ll do one or two takes and then go home. (For ‘Giant’) I would do 50, 60, 70 takes of the same line, and after a while I’d say, ‘Listen, you gotta be kidding. This must be some sort of ”Candid Camera” thing.”’

Fortunately, the movie has been well reviewed, but Connick — who didn’t read a script until he showed up for the first day of recording — hasn’t been paying much attention. ”It’s not rocket science. If the movie sucks, I’m not gonna lose any sleep over it. I’m a singer and an actor, and what I do is just not that important.” Hey, if the sales-crazed Garth Brooks is listening, the partnership may be off.

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