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Harry Connick Jr. and Willie Nelson Get Festive on 'When I'm Home'

Check out an exclusive stream of the unlikely duo's new holiday track

December 11, 2013 9:00 AM ET
Willie Nelson Harry Connick Jr Angels Sing
'Angels Sing'
Courtesy Thirty3anda3rd Records

On paper, Willie Nelson's lonesome country twang and Harry Connick Jr.'s smooth croon seem like an odd combination for a duet. However, the two legends find a unique harmony on "When I'm Home," a new collaboration for the upcoming holiday film Angels Sing. Check out the track now in our exclusive stream.

Willie Nelson and Norah Jones Go 'Walkin' – Song Premiere

"When I'm home, I will sing 'Silent Night'/ This Christmas when I'm home," sing the duo over minimal piano, cutting pedal steel guitar and a climactic gospel choir. Nelson and Connick Jr. tackle the song democratically, trading off lines and playing with the cadences of the melody.

Of course, the two singers have more than just musical chemistry: they both act in Angels Sing, too. Connick Jr. plays disillusioned history professor Michael Walker and Nelson appears as Nick, a stranger who singlehandedly restores Michael's Christmas cheer. 

The Angels Sing soundtrack features multiple Nelson tracks along with contributions from Lyle Lovett, Dale Watson and the Trishas, among others; it's currently available for pre-order on iTunes. More information about the film is available at the project's website

Check out the soundtrack's full tracklisting:

1. Black Soot – "Up on the House Top"
2. Dale Watson – "Mistletoe on Death Row"
3. The Trishas – "Deck the Halls"
4. Lyle Lovett and Kat Edmonson with Mitch Watkins – "Christmas Time Is Here"
5. Wille with Bobbie Nelson – "Family Bible"
6. Sahara Smith – "Signals in the Dark"
7. The Trishas – "Moses"
8. Dale Watson – "Christmas Time in Texas"
9. Miss Lavelle with Guy Forsyth and Carolyn Wonderland – "Christmas Love"
10. Carolyn Wonderland and Guy Forsyth – "Silent Night"
11. Willie Nelson with Bobby Nelson – "Amazing Grace"
12. Harry Connick Jr. and Willie Nelson – "When I'm Home"

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Song Stories

“Try a Little Tenderness”

Otis Redding | 1966

This pop standard had been previously recorded by dozens of artists, including by Bing Crosby 33 years before Otis Redding, who usually wrote his own songs, cut it. It was actually Sam Cooke’s 1964 take, which Redding’s manager played for Otis, that inspired the initially reluctant singer to take on the song. Isaac Hayes, then working as Stax Records’ in-house producer, handled the arrangement, and Booker T. and the MG’s were the backing band. Redding’s soulful version begins quite slowly and tenderly itself before mounting into a rousing, almost religious “You’ve gotta hold her, squeeze her …” climax. “I did that damn song you told me to do,” Redding told his manager. “It’s a brand new song now.”

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