2x GRAMMY® Award-nominated singer-songwriter Rufus Wainwright shares “Harvest (feat. Andrew Bird & Chris Stills),” available now at all DSPs and streaming services HERE.

This interpretation of a Neil Young classic heralds Wainwright’s eagerly awaited new album, Folkocracy, a star-studded collection of folk music reinventions arriving Friday, June 2 via BMG in a range of formats including digital download, CD, and vinyl. Pre-orders are available now HERE.

The music of Neil Young has been part of my entire life. What has always drawn me to him are his lyrics. I think that lyrics are often underrated in today’s music.  But then of course with Neil Young you also get these absolutely iconic melodies and the sound quality of his albums is simply amazing. He is the full package.” says Rufus.

“To record Harvest was a pure joy. I had never sung with Andrew or recorded with him playing the violin and he is so inherently musical that it feels so natural to sing such a sophisticated song with him. And it was amazing to include my old friend Chris Stills on this track who probably was fed Neil Young’s voice with his mother’s milk. Chris has one of the most beautiful voices I have heard and his harmonizing is absolutely delicious.”

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, 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),’ available now at all DSPs and streaming services. The timeless track is accompanied by an official music video streaming now at YouTube HERE

The second single, “Heading Home (feat. John Legend)” is a joyous rendition of the Peggy Seeger folk standard. Its accompanying music video is streaming on YouTube HERE

Wainwright – joined by a six-piece band and special guests including Chaka Khan, Van Dyke Parks, Susanna Hoffs, Lucy Wainwright Roche, and Richard Parks – 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, 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. 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 harmonised 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.

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