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Rufus Wainwright's Audible Original Premieres Thursday, Nov. 5

Over the course of three 1-hour episodes.

Rufus Wainwright's Audible Original Premieres Thursday, Nov. 5

Grammy-nominated singer, songwriter and composer Rufus Wainwright's Audible Original, Road Trip Elegies: Montreal to New York, debuts Thursday, November 5 exclusively on Audible. Over the course of three 1-hour episodes, this deeply personal musical narrative blends field recordings from a ten hour drive Wainwright took with his therapist and musical performances recorded from live shows at the legendary McCabe's Guitar Store in Los Angeles.

Celebrated singer, songwriter, and composer, Rufus Wainwright knows exactly what to pack for his journey between St. Sauveur, Quebec, and New York City. He's intimately familiar with the route, from its topography to its emotional touchstones-each mile nearly etched into his psyche. The starting point, nestled in the Laurentian Mountains, is an hour northeast of Montreal, and home to a large part of his fabled upbringing with its rich maternal lineage and musical legacy. It's also loaded with some good ol' fashioned baggage. The end point, New York, like for so many before and after him, serves as a storied stomping ground for his rise as an artist and person, independent of his family. It's an ever-alluring, but uneasy place, as it's dished out equal measures of validation and in difference throughout their testy relationship. In Road Trip Elegies, Rufus sets out on the trek with his usual personal effects: a treasure trove of memories; a razor-sharp-wit; and big appetite for healthy self-reflection. But on this particular trip, he's packed two additional items to help navigate the experience: something to record himself with, and, someone to talk to. For the latter, Rufus has tapped his therapist. Yes, Mark the Analyst. (Hey, why not go for the best?) What ensues over the course of three one-hour episodes is a captivating, detailed, and candid coming of age story-an artist's awakening-shared by a man who uniquely understands from whence he came and how it's all played out ever since. As satisfying or soulful a premise that may be, Rufus is the consummate showman, Road Trip Elegies offers its listeners much, much more.

If Elegies is anchored in Rufus's driving excavation as an artist and son (his beloved mother, Canadian folk icon Kate McGarrigle, is an essential and enduring force in his life), the title is truly lifted and made whole by its spectacular musical counterpart. Generously woven throughout the duration of the drive, each live cut (more than twenty tracks in total) is plucked from an exquisite, recent set of performances some 3,000 miles west. Captured at McCabe's Guitar Store, a music venue in Los Angeles, the three-night run was designed specifically to accompany and punctuate moments and themes derived from his Road Trip. Backed by a tightknit, 4-piece band, including his sister, Lucy Wainwright Roche (vocals), Petra Haden (vocals/violin), and featuring top-notch stage banter throughout, Rufus seamlessly moves between a sweeping breadth of songs that span generation, genre, and timbre. Many tunes penned by his own notable family members, Kate and Anna McGarrigle, or his distinguished folk writing father, Loudon Wainwright III; others are gorgeously Rufus-ized versions of standards from the stage, the Great American Songbook or more modern classics. Cue: Dylan's "A Hard Rain's a-Gonna Fall," and Barry Gibb's always welcome "Islands in the Stream." Enveloped in the warmth of devoted fans and a host of admiring special attendees (Burt Bacharach, Jessica Chastain, Mike Stoller, Shirley Maclaine, Chris Guest, Darren Criss, Anjelica Huston, Jackson Browne, and Vandyke Parks to name-drop a few) the performance, throughout, conveys a fantastic sense of both intimacy and electricity.

By the time Rufus approaches the City, we've been richly serenaded with beautiful melodies courtesy of the West coast, and moving stories down the state thruway. Driving solo now (don't worry, his intrepid therapist was safely dropped off in Westchester), Rufus is admittedly, fully loopy: emotionally drained but highly entertaining. The final leg has the remarkably palpable vibe of just Rufus and you, working in parallel, looking to land closure. Total catharsis is of course out of reach, but Rufus's Road Trip Elegies is a bold and beautiful testament to the power of not compartmentalizing our various parts, or striving to disown our past, but rather, willfully embracing the full extent of us; seeking to grasp and contain even our most challenging of pieces, to arrive, more completely, at peace of mind.

Audible, Inc., an Amazon.com, Inc. subsidiary (NASDAQ:AMZN), is the leading provider of premium digital spoken audio content, offering customers a new way to enhance and enrich their lives every day. Audible content includes more than 575,000 audio programs from leading audiobook publishers, broadcasters, entertainers, magazine and newspaper publishers, and business information providers.


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