“I can hear the ice tinkling in the glasses now,” says the singer-actress of setting up shop at the Cafe Carlyle
Rita Wilson sings with Willie Nelson, Smokey Robinson, Tim McGraw, Vince Gill and more on her latest album Rita Wilson Now & Forever: Duets. Released in late September, the record finds the singer-actress interpreting some of her favorite songs of the Seventies, like the Bee Gees’ “Massachusetts,” Paul Simon’s “Slip Slidin’ Away,” and Roberta Flack and Donny Hathaway’s “Where Is the Love.” Wilson is also re-creating the songs live onstage during a two-week residency at New York City’s Café Carlyle that kicked off earlier this week.
According to Wilson, each week gets its own unique show. The first run, which concludes Saturday night, pairs her with vocalist Fraser Walters. “Rita Wilson Now & Forever: Duets features music that feels like my Great American Songbook, and these shows will be the first time I’ll get to sing most of them in front of a live audience,” Wilson tells Rolling Stone. “Fraser is definitely up for the task of filling the big shoes of the amazing duet partners.”
On Nov. 1, Wilson returns to the Café Carlyle for what she’s calling her “Liner Notes” shows, a series of performances that focus on the art of songwriting. Darrell Brown, Desmond Child, and Kara DioGuardi are set to join Wilson onstage to sing and discuss the writing process.
“After being away from the live stage for so long due to the pandemic, I’m excited to return for a two-week engagement to my home away from home in New York City, The Cafe Carlyle,” Wilson says. “It’s one of the most iconic New York venues with a one-of-a-kind cool and loose vibe, where people have gone for decades to hear the music they love. I can hear the ice tinkling in the glasses now.”
Rita Wilson’s Now & Forever: Duets album is available now on all streaming services. Here’s the track list and her duet partners:
“Crazy Love” (Keith Urban)
“Where Is the Love?” (Smokey Robinson)
“Slip Slidin’ Away” (Willie Nelson
“Let It Be Me” (Jackson Browne)
“Massachusetts” (Leslie Odom Jr.)
“Fire” (Elvis Costello)
“If” (Tim McGraw)
“I’ll Be There” (Jimmie Allen)
“Without You” (Vince Gill)
“Songbird” (Josh Groban)