Rufus Wainwright’s ‘Folkocracy’ Gathers Friends And Family To Celebrate A Genre

[Cover photo credit to Miranda Penn Turin]

Rufus Wainwright has announced Folkocracy, an album of Folk music reinventions where the singer-songwriter is joined by a wide 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 more. Folkocracy will arrive on Friday, June 2nd, 2023 via BMG in a range of formats.

Produced by longtime collaborator Mitchell Froom (Paul McCartney, Crowded House), Folkocracy is heralded by the single “Down in the Willow Garden” (Feat. Brandi Carlile). The song is “a timeless murder ballad reimagined for modern times” and accompanied by a music video.

Speaking about the new single, Brandi Carlile shares:

Singing with Rufus feels like watching birds swirl around together instinctively in flight. 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:

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.

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 2nd, 2023.

In addition, a wide range of international live dates is set through the summer. Highlights include headline shows, 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 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.

This August will also see Wainwright embark on a worldwide Folkocracy Tour while also marking both the 25th anniversary of his debut album, 1998’s Rufus Wainwright.



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

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