Rufus is a busy man. And for those of us that think he has one of the most unique voices around, meaning his vocal chords, yes, but also his artistic viewpoint, this is rockin’ good news.
Last month Rufus and his sister Martha (who is also a gifted singer), joined their aunt Anna, Emmylou Harris, Norah Jones, Teddy Thompson and others in a tribute concert in New York City in honor of his mother, Kate McGarrigle. I have had the pleasure of talking to Rufus and Martha about their mother before her passing, and their love and respect for her was moving. Do yourself a favor and check out the reissue of Kate and Anna McGarrigle’s first two albums, with a third disc of demos and outtakes. It’s called Tell My Sister. Beautiful. Hope they recorded the NYC concert. Would be nice to hear that.
But Rufus is also working on a new album with that excellent producer, Mark Ronson. Mark has worked with Amy Winehouse, Adele, and Lily Allen. Nice resume. This is supposed to sound more “poppy” than Rufus’ previous work. Don’t panic. Ronson’s version of “poppy” is actually very cool. One of the songs that may make it on to the album is a tribute to Rufus’ mother, Kate. Hope that makes the cut. It won’t be released for awhile because he is going to take the summer off to spend time with Viva, his infant daughter. Yes, Rufus and his partner Jorn Weisbrodt have a baby girl. Interesting genetics. Rufus is the father, and the mother is Lorca Cohen, daughter of Leonard Cohen. I want to be around twenty years from now the hear the music little Viva will be making!
Anyway, back to his day job. July 18th Rufus is releasing House of Rufus, a 19 disc retrospective box set. Lots of demos and rarities. Can’t wait. Also in July, Rufus will do five concerts at the Royal Opera in London. In Spring of 2012 Prima Donna, an opera composed by Rufus, will be produced by the New York City Opera. There is also a beautiful new book of photographs, One Day in the Life of Rufus Wainwright, available now.
All good news for Rufus fans. All good reason to start saving your allowance. This could get expensive…but fun.