Credit Miranda Penn Turin
Today 2x GRAMMY® Award-nominated singer-songwriter Rufus Wainwright shares the eagerly-awaited new album FOLKOCRACY, available now at all DSPs and streaming services HERE. The star-studded collection of folk music reinventions arrives via BMG in a range of formats including digital download, CD, and vinyl.
“Folk music always has a menacing quality,” Wainwright explains. “It’s a genre that plays with both the light and the dark and the battle between those two. Unlike disco or most pop music, where you’re trying to create a whole new world that’s about escapism or crafting a fantasy land, folk music is rooted in the real, and therefore it’s timeless. It doesn’t belong to any particular era.”
Rufus Wainwright in No Depression
LISTEN TO FOLKOCRACY
The release day is being celebrated with a video for the song with a video for the song The Mamas and The Papas song “Twelve-Thirty (Young Girls Are Coming To The Canyon) (Feat. Susanna Hoffs, Chris Stills & Sheryl Crow).” The video was directed by Glass Battles and can be viewed HERE.
Folkocracy sees Wainwright joined by a spectacular lineup of friends, family members, and other special guest artists including Brandi Carlile, John Legend, David Byrne, Sheryl Crow, Nicole Scherzinger, Chaka Khan, Andrew Bird, ANOHNI, Susanna Hoffs, Van Dyke Parks, Madison Cunningham, and many more. Produced by longtime collaborator Mitchell Froom (Paul McCartney, Crowded House), the album includes the haunting first single, “Down in the Willow Garden (feat. Brandi Carlile),” hailed by The Boot as “goosebump-worthy…Wainwright and Carlile seamlessly blend their voices while telling the haunting story of a brutal murder from the perpetrator’s perspective,” the timeless track is accompanied by an official music video streaming now at YouTube HERE. Singles also include “Heading Home (feat. John Legend),” a joyous rendition of the Peggy Seeger folk standard, and “Harvest (feat. Andrew Bird & Chris Stills),” a reinterpretation of the Neil Young classic.
Wainwright – joined by a six-piece band and special guests including Chaka Khan, Van Dyke Parks, Susanna Hoffs, Lucy Wainwright Roche, Richard Parks, and Madison Cunningham – will celebrate Folkocracy with a one-night-only Release Day concert event set for Los Angeles, CA’s Walt Disney Concert Hall today, Friday, June 2. In addition, a wide range of international live dates is set through the summer, with diverse dates around the globe through late July. Highlights include headline shows, top-billed festival appearances at Winnipeg, MB’s Winnipeg Folk Festival (July 7), Mariposa, ON’s Mariposa Folk Festival (July 9), and Cambridge, UK’s Cambridge Folk Festival (July 29), as well as “Wainwright Does Weill,” a once-in-a-lifetime five-night residency at New York’s legendary Café Carlyle on May 16-20 that saw Wainwright performing the songs of composer Kurt Weill accompanied by his longtime pianist Jacob Mann.
In addition, this August will see Wainwright embark on a worldwide Folkocracy Tour while also marking both the 25th anniversary of his landmark debut album, 1998’s Rufus Wainwright, and the 20th anniversary of 2003’s award-winning Want One (and its 2004 companion, Want Two) with a series of orchestral shows featuring lush symphonic arrangements by Sally Herbert (Woodkid, Florence + the Machine) and Max Moston (Antony and the Johnsons). A full slate of North American, EU, and UK dates will be announced soon. For complete details and remaining ticket availability, please visit rufuswainwright.com/tour.
Folkocracy – which follows Wainwright’s most recent studio album, 2020’s GRAMMY® and Juno Award-nominated Unfollow The Rules – sees the critically acclaimed artist celebrating his upcoming 50th birthday by revisiting his roots, of childhood summers spent at folk festivals and watching his famous family on stage. Wainwright is joined on his journey into the past by an all-star cast of special guests that includes Brandi Carlile, John Legend, Chaka Khan, Nicole Scherzinger, Van Dyke Parks, and Madison Cunningham, to name only a few. The 15 songs featured on Folkocracy include folk standards from around the world along with a unique reframing of Franz Schubert’s “Nacht und Träume” as well as a spellbinding rerecording of his own “Going To A Town,” featuring his longtime friend ANOHNI. Highlights include the sensual “High On A Rocky Ledge (feat. David Byrne),” a gorgeous, expertly harmonized take on The Mamas & The Papas’ “Twelve-Thirty (Young Girls Are Coming To The Canyon)” featuring Sheryl Crow, Susannah Hoffs, and Chris Stills, and the album-closing “Wild Mountain Thyme,” a song Wainwright grew up singing with his sisters, Martha Wainwright and Lucy Wainwright Roche, both of whom join him on the new rendition along with aunt Anna McGarrigle, cousin Lily Lanken, and close family friend Chaim Tannenbaum, the latter playing Rufus’s late mother Kate McGarrigle’s iconic banjo.
“The older I get, the more I appreciate how valuable my folk knowledge is, to have had it ingrained in me as a child,” Wainwright says. “I’m from a bona fide folkocracy who mixed extensively with other folkocracies such as the Seegers and the Thompsons. I spun off into opera and pop. Now I’m back where it all began.”
2 – Los Angeles, CA – Walt Disney Concert Hall **
3 – Monterey, CA – Golden State Theatre **
4 – Napa, CA – Blue Note Napa Summer Sessions **
21 – Cleveland Heights, OH – Cain Park **
23 – Philadelphia, PA – Kimmel Cultural Campus **
24 – Vienna, VA – Out & About Festival **
25 – Red Bank, NJ – Hackensack Meridian Health Theatre at the Count Basie Center **
27 – Ridgefield, CT – Ridgefield Playhouse **
29 – Morristown, NJ – Mayo Performing Arts Center **
30 – Portsmouth, NH – The Music Hall **
1 – Bar Harbor, ME – Criterion Theater **
7 – Winnipeg, MB – Winnipeg Folk Festival **
9 – Mariposa, ON – Mariposa Folk Festival **
13 – Montauk, NY – Montauk Point Lighthouse †
16 – Beacon, NY – Towne Crier Café **
22 – Dublin, Ireland – National Concert Hall **
24 – Barcelona, Spain – Teatre Grec **
25 – Madrid, Spain – Teatro Real **
27 – Ciutadella de Menorca, Spain – Festival Pedra Viva **
29 – Cambridge, UK – Cambridge Folk Festival 2023 **
11 – Chicago, IL – Ravinia Festival ***
5 – London, UK – Royal Albert Hall ***
19 – Nashville, TN – Schermerhorn Symphony Center ***
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* Solo Performance
† 50 Isn’t the End: A 50th Birthday Concert with Rufus Wainwright & Friends
** Folkocracy Tour w/Six-Piece Backing Band
*** Want Symphonic Series
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Release Date: Friday, June 2