Folkocracy [BN Exclusive]

Folkocracy [BN Exclusive]

by Rufus Wainwright
Folkocracy [BN Exclusive]

Folkocracy [BN Exclusive]

by Rufus Wainwright

Vinyl LP(Long Playing Record - B&N Exclusive Edition)

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Rufus Wainwright's recording career has frequently diverged from straightforward albums of his lyrical chamber pop originals, with digressions into Judy Garland appreciation (Rufus Does Judy at Carnegie Hall, Rufus Does Judy at Capitol Studios), poetry scoring (Take All My Loves: 9 Shakespeare Sonnets), and even opera (Prima Donna) among his now extensive output. The star-studded Folkocracy finds the composer/songwriter setting down his pen and embracing his family's folk roots on a set of 15 folk covers selected with longtime collaborator/producer Mitchell Froom. While the album does delve into unusually -- for Wainwright -- rustic traditional fare, selections keep listeners on their toes by not only broadly defining folk, but with a slew of diverse guest singers and arrangements that, at least occasionally, stray into lush orchestral territory. It begins with a spare, electric guitar version of Ewan MacColl's "Alone" featuring Madison Cunningham, who duets with Wainwright here but sings backup and plays guitar elsewhere on the album. MacColl's widow, Peggy Seeger, is represented next on Folkocracy, with the livelier "Heading for Home," sung here by Wainwright and John Legend, who are backed by banjo, strings, and a rhythm section. While the performances are already impressive, up next is the record's first genuine surprise: a spot-on version of the Mamas & the Papas' "Twelve-Thirty (Young Girls Are Coming to the Canyon)" by Wainwright, Sheryl Crow, Susanna Hoffs, and Chris Stills. A pair of traditional picks come next, including the murder ballad " Down in the Willow Garden" (an acoustic version featuring Brandi Carlile) before Wainwright takes some liberties with his definition of folk in a midsection that sandwiches Neil Young's "Harvest" (featuring Andrew Bird and Chris Stills) between Franz Schubert's "Nacht und Traeume" and Wainwright's own "Going to a Town" from 2007's Release the Stars. A legitimate protest song, the latter's haunting strings, percussive guitar strumming, and spectral accompaniment by Anohni turn out to be an album highlight. After a sweetly touching take on Moondog's "High on a Rocky Ledge" by Wainwright with David Byrne, the back half of the album concentrates on traditional material spanning Hawaiian protest song "Kaulana Na Pua" (featuring Nicole Scherzinger) and a "Cotton Eye Joe" modeled after a lesser-known live recording by Nina Simone and featuring Chaka Khan. Folkocracy closes poignantly on a reverent "Wild Mountain Thyme" featuring Rufus, his sister Lucy Wainwright Roche, aunt Anna McGarrigle, cousin Lily Lanken, and Chaim Tannenbaum (Rufus' sister Martha appears elsewhere on the album). His mother, Kate McGarrigle, is also represented; Tannenbaum plays her banjo on the track. ~ Marcy Donelson

Product Details

Release Date: 06/02/2023
Label: Barnes & Noble
UPC: 4050538870695


  1. Alone
  2. Heading for Home
  3. Twelve-Thirty (Young Girls Are Coming To The Canyon)
  4. Down in the Willow Garden
  5. Shenandoah
  6. Nacht und Tr¿¿ume
  7. Harvest
  8. Going to a Town
  9. High on a Rocky Ledge
  10. Kaulana Na Pua
  11. Hush Little Baby
  12. Black Gold
  13. Cotton Eyed Joe
  14. Arthur McBridge
  15. Wild Mountain Thyme

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Rufus Wainwright   Primary Artist,Piano,Guitar,Vocals
Patrick Warren   Organ
Steve Amedee   Tambourine
Andrew Bird   Violin,Featured Artist
Susanna Hoffs   Featured Artist
Sheryl Crow   Featured Artist
Chris Stills   Featured Artist
Lily Lanken   Featured Artist
Greg Leisz   Guitar,Mandolin,Lap Steel Guitar
Chaim Tannenbaum   Banjo,Featured Artist
David Byrne   Featured Artist
David Piltch   Guitar (Bass)
Ted Poor   Percussion
Blake Mills   Guitar
Martha Wainwright   Featured Artist
Brandi Carlile   Featured Artist
Anna McGarrigle   Accordion,Featured Artist
Mitchell Froom   Piano,Mellotron,Harpsichord,Piano (Electric)
Rob Moose   Strings
Val McCallum   Guitar
Nicole Scherzinger   Featured Artist
Chaka Khan   Featured Artist
John Legend   Featured Artist
Van Dyke Parks   Piano,Accordion,Featured Artist
Pete Thomas   Drums
Patrick Sauber   Banjo
Lucy Wainwright Roche   Featured Artist
Jacob Mann   Piano
Madison Cunningham   Guitar,Featured Artist
Anohni   Featured Artist
Richard Parks   Mandolin

Technical Credits

Traditional   Composer
Bob Ludwig   Mastering
Ewan MacColl   Composer
Louis Hardin   Composer
Neil Young   Composer
Mitchell Froom   Producer
Rob Moose   Arranger
David Boucher   Mixing,Engineer
Franz Schubert   Composer
Charlie Monroe   Composer
Peggy Seeger   Composer
Van Dyke Parks   Composer
Rufus Wainwright   Composer
Matthaus Casimir von Collin   Composer
John E.A. Phillips   Composer
Ellen Prendergast   Composer
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