Watch Rufus Wainwright cover Stephen Foster’s ‘Hard Times’ with family and friends

His sister Martha Wainwright, along with Anna Mcgarrigle and Jane Mcgarrigle, helped him close out his 60-day quarantine series

Rufus Wainwright has shared a cover of Stephen Foster’s ‘Hard Times’ to close out his 60-day quarantine series – watch it below.

The singer-songwriter started his Quarantune/Robe Recitals series on March 17 in order to entertain those in lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Every morning, Wainwright would take to his piano at home in Los Angeles to perform a track from his extensive back catalogue – in a bathrobe.

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“Even before this pandemic, I would practice every morning in my bathrobe,” Wainwright said before a session earlier this month, adding that the robe was a necessary addition. “Before I was married and had a child, I would practice naked back in the good old days, hungover and naked at the piano.”

On Saturday (May 17), Wainwright called upon his sister Martha Wainwright, along with Anna Mcgarrigle and Jane Mcgarrigle, to help him close out his quarantine series with a rendition of Stephen Foster’s ‘Hard Times’.

“This is a song that has been dear to our family for many, many years, and I think is incredibly poignant right now, in terms of what we’ve all been through,” Wainwright explained before starting the song. “I think it’s a wonderful way to end Robe Recitals, and also begin a new period with the lines ‘hard times, come again no more.’”

Others joining Wainwright for the cover were Lily Lanken, Sylvan Lanken, Vinny Dow, Patrick Ferris, Gigi and Islay Mac Millan, and Kathleen Weldon. Watch the performance above.

Wainwright bid farewell to his Quaratunes series on Instagram, writing: “I didn’t plan on it being exactly 60 days, but it’s nice how that’s worked out. When I first decided to start performing for you every day, we perhaps naively thought that it might have lasted two weeks at the most. We never could have anticipated how much more dire the situation would become – it’s been such a joy seeing all of your kind comments and messages about how this series has helped you have something to look forward to each day.

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“I’ve played through my discography, both the old and the new and have in total played over 8 hours of music for you without even changing out of a bathrobe. It is truly a miracle of technology, connection and collaboration.”

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Hello and welcome to Day 60 of #Quarantunes, our #MusicalEverydays #RobeRecitals series. Today is the day everyone, we have come to the grand finale of the Quarantunes series! I didn’t plan on it being exactly 60 days, but it’s nice how that’s worked out. When I first decided to start performing for you every day, we perhaps naively thought that it might have lasted two weeks at the most. We never could have anticipated how much more dire the situation would become – it’s been such a joy seeing all of your kind comments and messages about how this series has helped you have something to look forward to each day. I’ve played through my discography, both the old and the new and have in total played over 8 hours of music for you without even changing out of a bathrobe. It is truly a miracle of technology, connection and collaboration.  Today, for our swan song of this current incarnation of the Quarantunes series, I’ve put together something truly special for you all. From the whole McGarrigle family and I to you, we have a single prayer for all: Hard times, come again no more. Thank you everyone for joining together with me for this beautiful performance of this classic Stephen Foster folk song! I truly could not have asked for a better way to send this series off. I hope you’ll continue to join me on all our upcoming musical adventures as well. The #UnfollowTheRules album is just around the corner – pre-order it today so you can have it the second it releases. We send you all the love in the world. Stay safe, #StayHome and we’ll see you again soon. ❤️❤️❤️ Featuring: >Rufus Wainwright >Martha Wainwright (@martha.wainwright) > Lily Lanken > Sylvan Lanken > Anna McGarrigle > Jane McGarrigle > Vinny Dow > Gigi and Islay McMillan > Kathleen and Peter Weldon > Patrick Ferris (@theamericansmusic) > Joel Zifkin (@Joelz999)

A post shared by Rufus Wainwright (@rufuswainwright) on

Last month, Wainwright announced that he had to postpone the release of his upcoming 10th studio album ‘Unfollow The Rules’ due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Sharing the news on Instagram, the singer-songwriter explained to fans that “physical product is extremely important” to him and revealed that the CD and vinyl versions of the album are currently “stuck in the warehouse as they had to shut down.” The album was originally scheduled for an April 24 release.

“I hope everyone is doing well in these difficult and very existential times,” he began his post. “After a lot of thought and discussion, I am sorry to inform you all that the release date for my upcoming album ‘Unfollow the Rules’ is being postponed to July 10.”

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