Bethany & Rufus

Bethany & Rufus


Bethany and Rufus are an incredible cello and voice duo who slide between soul, funk and folk. Rufus, the 1st call groove/Hendrix cellist in NYC, is jaw-droppingly talented and creates a bed of deep groove over which Bethany sings with a grace and power that is all too rare these days.


Bethany and Rufus’ debut CD makes it clear why these indie artists are quickly attracting national attention. It is a stunningly simple and beautiful work, a magical blend of Bethany’s electrifying voice (a combination of the husky power of Nina Simone and the open-throated clarity of a tiny sparrow) and the mind-blowing, genre-bending cello playing of Rufus Cappadocia. With a deeply soulful sound Bethany and Rufus have transformed timeless songs such as 900 Miles, East Virginia, and St. James Infirmary -- pushing the boundaries of American folk far into the territory of groove, jazz and sweet soul.

This fresh approach to folk music brought rave reviews to Rock Island, the CD that Bethany released in 2003 under her own name. Rock Island featured the traditional slave lullabies and prison songs that lie at the core of the American musical vernacular, yet re-imagined, Ms. Yarrow says, as "a kind of electronic pop that I called deep folk music." Blending an edgy contemporary style with banjos, dulcimers, harmonicas, slide guitars, gospel choirs, and the sampled voices of great blues singers, Ms. Yarrow charted a unique musical terrain that she and Rufus continue to explore in ways far outside of any conventional musical box.

As the daughter of folk legend Peter Yarrow of Peter, Paul and Mary, Bethany absorbed much of this music through osmosis in her early childhood. Her tour-de-force stage presence, mesmerizing voice and deep knowledge of the material allow her to turn these songs inside out, finding a vibrant inner pulse that resonates with a grace and power that is rare in today’s music scene.

Rufus Cappadocia is one of the leading voices on the cello today. He has toured throughout the Americas and Europe with numerous groups and is known for his collaborations with artists from all over the world... from the Balkans to the Caribbean, from West Africa to North America. He has toured extensively with Urban Tap and The Paradox Trio; has just finished a recording with Badal Roy (who played tabla with Miles Davis) and Barney Mcall (who plays piano with Gary Bartz); a Canadian release with Hugh Marsh (violin) and Bary Romberg (drums); and is currently recording a new project, Vodou Drums of Haiti with “Bonga” Jean-Baptiste as well as a CD of unaccompanied solo cello. After years of experimentation, Rufus plays a self designed Five String Electric Cello that extends the bass range of the cello and through amplification expands the tonal possibilities of the instrument.

Rufus has made a career of going where few cellists have gone before. He has appeared on CDs with Ross Daly, Kif, David Fiuczynski, The Paradox Trio, Odetta, Michael Blake, and Tamalalou. Rufus has also performed with Kasse Mady, Aretha Franklin, The Black Rock Coalition, Esma, Theodossi Spassoff, Seamus Egan, Eileen Eivers, Cheick-Tidiane Seck, Vernon Reid, and many more.


Bethany: ROCK ISLAND © 2003 Little Monster Records

Rufus: The Paradox Trio, Ross Daly, Esma, and many others. Solo record due out in 2004.

Numerous tracks from both artists in regular independent and web radio rotation

Set List

Sets generally run 45-90 minutes

Example Set List:

900 Miles
Rock Island
Linin Track
Pretty Horses
Another Man
You Better Mind
East Virginia
Rufus Solo
The Swallow
If I Had My Way
No More Songs