Rufus Wainwright has a new album out this week and his often soaring compositions are given a soulful treatment by producer Mark Ronson, whose go-to band, The Dap Kings, add grit to Wainwright’s glamour. His previous album Songs For Lulu was a comparatively spare recording lamenting the death of his mother, folk singer Kate McGarrigle, two years ago. Since then Wainwright’s become engaged to long-time partner Jörn Weisbrodt. To complete the family Rufus and Leonard Cohen’s daughter, Lorca Cohen, produced a baby girl named Viva, who’ll be raised by the two stylish Dads. Nick Atkinson checked out the new album Out Of The Game and got Rufus Wainwright on the phone from his home in Toronto.
Living in the Soloman Islands without electricity or telephone lines the members of Narasirato cut their own pan-pipes fostering a tradition that’s said to be handed down through 75 generations. Emma Smith talks to the player of the bass pipe who describes performing with the demanding instrument; “We need a lot of energy and good health.”
As writer and broadcaster Chris Bourke once wrote, the Warratahs have earned their reputation by playing “what seems like a tiny wooden hall down the end of every gravel road in New Zealand, like the main trunk line and the Edmonds Cookbook the place wouldn’t be the same without them.” 2012 marks the 25th anniversary of the release of The Warratahs debut single Hands of My Heart and Trevor Reekie catches up with the two founding members, singer-songwriter Barry Saunders and violinist Nik Brown.