Common and Rufus Wainwright are set to release new Audible Original productions, respectively titled Bluebird Memories: A Journey Through Lyrics and Life and Road Trip Elegies: Montreal to New York. Exact release dates have yet to be announced, but both projects will arrive this year.
Both projects are described as “audio-only musical narratives” and will boast a unique mix of storytelling and music. Common’s Bluebird Memories will find him exploring the various writers and musicians who have inspired him, while Road Trip Elegies finds Wainwright recreating a journey between Montreal and New York City that he frequently took with his late mother, the Canadian folk singer Kate McGarrigle.
Common’s Bluebird Memories will notably be taken from a live show Common is set to perform over three nights at Audible’s Minetta Lane Theatre in New York, January 10th through 12th (tickets are on sale Thursday, January 2nd, via Ticketmaster). The show will find Common discussing writers and musicians like James Baldwin, Gwendolyn Brooks, Rakim and Melle Mel, and delving into how he “looked to their oeuvres for motivation and as a high-water mark for what would become his life in words.”
Common tells Rolling Stone: “As I’ve been digging deep into the writings of authors, poets and M.C.s who inspired me, it has reminded me of how much I love words and the infinite space that great writing holds in my life. Their writings make me want to be better and continue to grow and learn life in all of its dimensions. Being a part of this initiative has been so inspiring and reinvigorating as an artist.”
As for Wainwright, Road Trip Elegies is described as “a coming-of-age journey from childhood to adulthood” with the trip between Montreal and New York representing “both a physical and metaphorical life journey for him, one that oscillates between the emotional poles of his divorced mother and father.” The project will boast a mix of field recordings, selections from Wainwright’s catalogue and live performances recorded at McCabe’s Guitar Store in Los Angeles.
“Join me on a fall journey from Montreal to New York City, a fabled route both in terms of its beauty and cultural richness,” Wainwright says. “I recount impressions, interspersed with memories and live music I later perform at L.A.’s fabled McCabes guitar shop; songs inspired by the voyage, everything from Bob Dylan, my parents work, Cole Porter to Verdi. I will also premiere a couple of new numbers not available anywhere else, it will be a truly unique experience.”
Bluebird Memories and Road Trip Elegies follow a pair of similar Audible Originals from Patti Smith and Tom Morello. James Taylor is also prepping an audio memoir for Audible, Break Shot, that’s set to arrive in 2020 as well.