advertisement
FYI

Rufus Wainwright: Down In The Willow Garden ft. Brandi Carlile

The stars' voices mesh perfectly on this traditional folk murder ballad. 

Rufus Wainwright: Down In The Willow Garden ft. Brandi Carlile

By Kerry Doole

Rufus Wainwright - Down In The Willow Garden ft. Brandi Carlile (BMG): You could view this track and an upcoming album as a return to Rufus Wainwright's roots, given his family ties to folk greats The McGarrigle Sisters and Loudon Wainwright 111. After making a mark with early solo albums, he branched into cabaret and opera, to critical acclaim, and now, with his 50th birthday approaching, Rufus is going back to folk.


In a label press release, Wainwright explains that "The older I get, the more I appreciate how valuable my folk knowledge is, to have had it ingrained in me as a child. 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.”

advertisement

The new album, Folkocracy, is being released on June 2 and features many star names as guests. That list includes Brandi Carlile, John Legend, David Byrne, Sheryl Crow, Nicole Scherzinger, Chaka Khan, Andrew Bird, ANOHNI, Susanna Hoffs, Van Dyke Parks, and Madison Cunningham, with Wainwright explaining that "This album is almost like a recorded birthday party and birthday present to myself. I just invited all the singers that I greatly admire and always wanted to sing with."

Red-hot singer/songwriter Carlile appears on the first advance track, Down In The Willow Garden, a traditional murder ballad that features Wainwright's distinctive vocals meshing perfectly with the sweeter tones of Carlile. There is minimal instrumentation, allowing the voices (and dark lyrics) to hold the spotlight.

“Singing with Rufus feels like watching birds swirl around together instinctively in flight,” says Carlile in the press release. "It’s anticipated but somehow as natural as can be. His voice is so special to me that I hear it sometimes when he’s not even singing with me. I loved every second of flying around in this music with him.”

advertisement

Wainwright explains that “Brandi I see a lot, often with Joni Mitchell. I chose us a cheery little number – not! The song is so blatantly brutal and masochistic that I had to sing it with a woman. Sadly, we still live in a violent world. The amazing thing about so many folk songs is that content wise, they sound very contemporary. Think of the gun crime in the States right now.”

Wainwright – joined by a six-piece band and a number of surprise special guests – will celebrate Folkocracy with a Release Day concert event set for Los Angeles, CA’s Walt Disney Concert Hall on Friday, June 2.

He has a busy spring and summer touring schedule that includes dates in Spain, a US tour, and festival appearances at the Winnipeg and Mariposa Folk Festivals. Of note is a 'Wainwright does Weill' residency at NYC's Cafe Carlyle, May 16-20. Itinerary here

Links

Website

Twitter

Instagram

Publicity: Red Umbrella PR

advertisement
Neil Young and Crazy Horse
Joey Martinez

Neil Young and Crazy Horse

Concerts

Neil Young's Love Earth Tour Will Take Him Throughout Canada

The Canadian icon is bringing his Love Earth Tour with Crazy Horse to Winnipeg, Edmonton, Calgary and Burnaby. He's also added a second date at Toronto's Budweiser Stage, accompanying the release of his new album, FU##IN' UP.

Neil Young is showing some love to Canadian cities on his Love Earth tour. While his original tour announcement featured just one stop in his home country, in Toronto's Budweiser Stage, he's now announced dates in Manitoba, Alberta and B.C., as well as a second show at Toronto's Budweiser Stage, in response to "incredible fan demand."

The original tour was set to kick off in San Diego at the end of April and finish in Chicago in May. These five new dates pick things back up in July, with stops in Toronto, Edmonton, Calgary, and Young's hometown of Winnipeg. The tour finishes at Deer Lake Park in Burnaby B.C.

keep readingShow less
advertisement