Rufus Wainwright Unveils ‘Folkocracy’

IMPRINTent, IMPRINT Entertainment, Rufus Wainwright, Big Hassle Media, jim Merlis, Grammys, Grammy Awards, New Music Releases, Entertainment News, Singer, Songwriter, Folk Music, Brandi Carlile, John Legend, David Byrne, Sheryl Crow, Nicole Scherzinger, Chaka Khan, Andrew Bird, ANOHNI, Susanna Hoffs, Van Dyke Parks, Madison Cunningham, BMG, Mitchell Froom, Folk Artist,

Rufus Wainwright has announced Folkocracy, a star-studded album of folk music reinventions that sees the 2x GRAMMY® Award-nominated singer-songwriter joined by a spectacular collection of friends, family members, and other special guest artists that includes Brandi Carlile, John Legend, David Byrne, Sheryl Crow, Nicole Scherzinger, Chaka Khan, Andrew Bird, ANOHNI, Susanna Hoffs, Van Dyke Parks, Madison Cunningham, and many moreFolkocracy arrives Friday, June 2 via BMG in a range of formats.

Produced by longtime collaborator Mitchell Froom (Paul McCartney, Crowded House), Folkocracy is heralded by today’s release of “Down in the Willow Garden” (Feat. Brandi Carlile), available now at all DSPs HERE. A timeless murder ballad reimagined for modern times.

“Singing with Rufus feels like watching birds swirl around together instinctively in flight,” says Carlile. 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.

And, on the song with Carlile, Wainwright says, “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 adds, “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.”

Wainwright – joined by a six-piece band and a number of surprise special guests – will celebrate Folkocracy with a one-night-only Release Day concert event set for Los Angeles, CA’s Walt Disney Concert Hall on Friday, June 2. In addition, a wide range of international live dates is set through the summer, beginning with an appearance at the 7th annual LOVE ROCKS NYC benefit concert for God’s Love We Deliver at New York City’s Beacon Theatre on March 9 and then followed by diverse dates around the globe through late July. Highlights include headline shows, top-billed festival appearances at Winnipeg, MB’s Winnipeg Folk Festival (July 6-9), Mariposa, ON’s Mariposa Folk Festival (July 7-9), and Cambridge, UK’s Cambridge Folk Festival (July 27-30), as well as “Wainwright Does Weill,” a once-in-a-lifetime five-night residency at New York’s legendary Café Carlyle set for May 16-20 that will see Wainwright performing the songs of composer Kurt Weill accompanied by his longtime pianist Jacob Mann.

Also recently announced: Rufus Wainwright will perform a special collaboration with Miley Cyrus for an event called “Miley Cyrus ‒ Endless Summer Vacation (Backyard Sessions).” It will premiere Friday, March 10, at 1 p.m. EST/10 a.m. PST on Disney+. The Backyard Sessions are a long-running series from Cyrus. The latest installment celebrates the release of Cyrus’ eighth studio album Endless Summer Vacation.

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

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.

“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.”

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.

“I’m so happy mum made it onto the album,” says Rufus Wainwright. “Without her there would be no Folkocracy.”

IMPRINTent, IMPRINT Entertainment, Rufus Wainwright, Big Hassle Media, jim Merlis, Grammys, Grammy Awards, New Music Releases, Entertainment News, Singer, Songwriter, Folk Music, Brandi Carlile, John Legend, David Byrne, Sheryl Crow, Nicole Scherzinger, Chaka Khan, Andrew Bird, ANOHNI, Susanna Hoffs, Van Dyke Parks, Madison Cunningham, BMG, Mitchell Froom, Folk Artist,


TOUR 2023


9 – New York, NY – LOVE ROCKS NYC @ The Beacon Theatre (SOLD OUT)

31 – Healdsburg, CA – Little Saint * (SOLD OUT)


1 – Stanford, CA – Bing Concert Hall †

14 – A Coruña, Spain – Teatro Colón * (SOLD OUT)

15 – Elx, Spain – Gran Teatre D’Elx *

17 – Sevilla, Spain – Teatro De La Maestranza *

19 – València, Spain – Palau De Les Arts Reina Sofia *

21 – Murcia, Spain – Teatro Circo Murcia *

22 – Girona, Spain – Auditori Palau De Congressos De Girona *

29 – Cheltenham, UK – Cheltenham Jazz Festival 2023 *


3 – Boston, MA – City Winery Boston (Early Show) *

3 – Boston, MA – City Winery Boston (Late Show) *

4 – Northampton, MA – BOMBYX Center For Arts & Equity *

6 – Provincetown, MA – Provincetown Town Hall *

16 – New York, NY – Café Carlyle ^

17 – New York, NY – Café Carlyle ^

18 – New York, NY – Café Carlyle ^

19 – New York, NY – Café Carlyle ^

20 – New York, NY – Café Carlyle ^


2 – Los Angeles, CA – Walt Disney Concert Hall **

3 – Monterey, CA – Golden State Theater **

4 – Napa, CA – Silverado Resort **

24 – Vienna, VA – Out & About Festival **

25 – Red Bank, NJ – Count Basie Theatre **

27 – Ridgefield, CT – Ridgefield Playhouse **

29 – Morristown, NJ – Mayo Performing Arts Center **

30 – Portsmouth, NH – The Music Hall **


1 – Bar Harbor, ME – Criterion Theatre **

6-9 – Winnipeg, MB – Winnipeg Folk Festival **

7-9 – Mariposa, ON – Mariposa Folk Festival **

16 – Beacon, NY – Towne Crier *

25 – Madrid, ES – Universal Music Festival Teatro Real **

27-30 – Cambridge, UK – Cambridge Folk Festival 2023 **

# # #

* Solo Performance

† “Celebrating Stanford Live’s Next Decade” w/Chamber Orchestra

^ “Wainwright Does Weill”

** Folkocracy Tour w/Six-Piece Backing Band



  1. Alone (Feat. Madison Cunningham)
  2. Heading for Home (Feat. John Legend)
  3. Twelve-Thirty (Young Girls Are Coming To The Canyon) (Feat. Susanna Hoffs, Chris Stills & Sheryl Crow)
  4. Down in the Willow Garden (Feat. Brandi Carlile)
  5. Shenandoah
  6. Nacht und Träume
  7. Harvest (Feat. Andrew Bird & Chris Stills)
  8. Going to a Town (Feat. ANOHNI)
  9. High on a Rocky Ledge (Feat. David Byrne)
  10. Kaulana Na Pua (Feat. Nicole Scherzinger)
  11. Hush Little Baby (Feat. Martha Wainwright & Lucy Wainwright Roche)
  12. Black Gold (Feat. Van Dyke Parks)
  13. Cotton Eyed Joe (Feat. Chaka Khan)
  14. Arthur McBridge
  15. Wild Mountain Thyme (Feat. Anna McGarrigle, Chaim Tannenbaum, Lily Lanken, Lucy Wainwright Roche, & Martha Wainwright)