Photo Credit: Sean James
The first complete performance of the Rufus Does Judy tribute in five years, Rufus Does Judy at Capitol Studios will be commemorated with a limited edition t-shirt created for the occasion in partnership with Wainwright’s longtime friend, legendary designer Michael Kors. The t-shirts will be available via Rufus’ Merch Store
and in Michael Kors Collection stores nationwide, with all proceeds benefiting LGBT human rights organization OutRight Action International
through June – Pride Month 2021 – or while supplies last. The t-shirt marks the latest collaboration between Kors and Wainwright, whom earlier this month performed music for the blockbuster launch of Kors’ 40th-anniversary collection for Fall/Winter 2021.
Rufus Does Judy at Capitol Studios – which marks a rare complete performance of Wainwright’s now-legendary homage to 1961’s Judy Garland At Carnegie Hall – showcases more than twenty-five American standards spanning swing, jazz, and pop, including three songs by George & Ira Gershwin, two Rodgers & Hart classics, two from Howard Dietz & Arthur Schwartz, plus favorites by Harold Arlen, Yip Harburg, Irving Berlin, Noël Coward, and more. Among the highlights are such Garland signature songs as “The Man That Got Away,” “Zing! Went the Strings of My Heart,” “Swanee,” and of course, “Over The Rainbow,” along with a special bonus rendition of “Get Happy,” which was not performed by Garland at the original 1961 concert.
Wainwright’s sixth full-length release and first live album, Rufus Does Judy at Carnegie Hall was recorded and produced by Phil Ramone over two sold-out nights at Carnegie Hall, backed by a full 36-piece orchestra and special guest appearances from his sister Martha Wainwright, his mother Kate McGarrigle, and Garland’s daughter, Lorna Luft. The album proved an immediate cultural landmark, feted by worldwide media attention and critical acclaim while earning Wainwright his first-ever GRAMMY® Award nomination (for “Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album”).
Due to popular demand, Wainwright recreated his momentous tribute to Garland with sold-out, star-studded performances at such renowned venues as Paris’ L’Olympia, Los Angeles’ Hollywood Bowl, and the London Palladium, the latter of which was filmed and released on DVD as Rufus! Rufus! Rufus! Does Judy! Judy! Judy!: Live from the London Palladium.
Wainwright’s ninth studio LP and first new pop album since 2012, Unfollow The Rules
finds the multi-faceted artist at the peak of his powers, entering artistic maturity with passion, honesty, and a newfound fearlessness while remaining as creative, bold, and mischievous as ever. Produced by Mitchell Froom (Crowded House, Paul McCartney, Randy Newman) at a variety of legendary Los Angeles studios, the album proved among last year’s most honored releases, earning a prestigious GRAMMY® Award nomination for “Best Traditional Pop Album” as well as a Juno Award nod for “Adult Alternative Album of the Year.”
Unfollow The Rules was further met by ecstatic critical acclaim from high-profile publications around the globe, with Uncut declaring it “a spectacular return to the tower of song and the game (Wainwright) plays best…brimming with memorable melodies, swooning arrangements and smart lyrics dreamily sung.” Unfollow The Rules is “a stately pop throwback full of (Wainwright’s) signature vocal grandeur,” enthused Rolling Stone, while Pitchfork praised the album as “an opulently crafted highlight reel, a career-spanning sampler of Wainwright’s styles and guises… his songwriting is as sharp and cheeky as ever.” “A timely reminder of everything that’s wonderful about Wainwright,” wrote CLASH’s Mat Smith in a 9/10 rave, noting the artist’s “effortlessly towering voice, taking on a spinetingling profundity and emotiveness reminiscent of The Righteous Brothers (both of them; together; at once!).” PopMatters praised Unfollow The Rules as “a lush and detailed sounding album,” adding, “It’s good to welcome the return of the new, improved, old-school Rufus.” “Unfollow the Rules marks a welcome return to the opulent orchestration of Wainwright’s early albums,” wrote The Guardian in its 4/5-starred review. “Wainwright’s ninth studio album is a lush, engaging study in domestic bliss…It’s good to have him back.” “(Wainwright) sings with contentment, not complacency, as he saunters through the corridors of his life,” applauded The Independent in its own 4/5-starred review, noting simply, “This is one of Wainwright’s finest albums.”
Last year saw Wainwright offering fans solace with his trailblazing #Quarantunes series of #RobeRecitals, presented daily via Instagram Live. The intimate performances – which saw the singer-songwriter supreme performing new songs from Unfollow The Rules alongside classic catalog favorites, surprising rarities, and beloved cover versions – were followed in June by Unfollow The Rules: The Paramour Session, a complete acoustic performance of the new album filmed live at the ballroom of Hollywood’s famed silent movie mansion, The Paramour Estate.
The first leg of A Rufus-Retro-Wainwright-
Spective! kicked off in September, presented live from Wainwright’s living room in Laurel Canyon, joined by a weekly micro-audience that included Jamie Lee Curtis & Christopher Guest, Darren Criss, Joel McHale, among other icons and famous friends. The virtual tour of his wide-ranging catalogue earned applause from such media outlets as mxdwn.com
, which hailed the concert series as a “deliciously casual offering to dedicated fans; an exclusive club for Wainwright enthusiasts to gather and exchange memories about their shared passion for his music. The live audience chat was a haven for nostalgia, sprinkled with the disparate musical experiences of followers around the world.”
An ingenious, compellingly charismatic live artist, Wainwright hopes to see his fans in person later this year on his long-awaited Unfollow The Rules Tour. For scheduled dates and other information, please visit rufuswainwright.com/tour
ABOUT OUTRIGHT ACTION INTERNATIONAL
OutRight Action International fights for the human rights for LGBTIQ people everywhere. OutRight works at the international, regional and national levels to research, document, defend, and advance human rights for LGBTIQ people around the world. Registered as a 501c3 non-profit in the US, OutRight has staff in six countries and works alongside LGBTIQ individuals across four continents towards lasting change. OutRight is the only LGBTIQ organization that has a permanent presence to advocate at the United Nations Headquarters in New York for progress for LGBTIQ people, with special consultative status that allows it to address the concerns of LGBTIQ people globally at this important world forum.
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