Launching into the Australian airwaves ten-years ago with his debut album To Let, Xavier Rudd is an undeniably creative musician whose passion for social good is only matched by his passion for great music.
With a reputation for surfy campfire music blended with the earthy sounds of indigenous Australia, Rudd’s powerful voice soars through the lyrical ranges and is the kind of music that makes you feel good, no matter who you are.
Since the launch of his debut album ten-years ago Rudd has been on a journey, some of it spent here on Canada’s West Coast, exploring reggae, funk, blues, and folk music while releasing a string of very well received albums. Known for his exciting live shows Rudd often performs solo while looping samples, laying down head-bobbing djembe rhythms, stomping his feet, dropping his trademark acoustic guitar rhythms, and droning soulful sounds from his collection of didgeridoos.
The didgeridoo, believed by many to be the world’s oldest wind instrument, originated thousand’s of years ago within the North Australian Aboriginal culture. Traditionally accompanied by the driving rhythms of clapping boomerangs together, Rudd infuses his didgeridoo into the tribal disco tech he’s become known for and that his audiences love. It’s indigenous and progressive, openly spiritual, and it’s Australian music exactly like you’d expect, but like nothing you imagined.
His seventh studio album, Spirit Bird released to widespread approval earlier this year with very good sales in Victoria, Queensland, and Western Australia. The album kicks off with an almost electronic didgeridoo bass line with eerie samples of screeching birds before moving into the fluid tribal folk sounds that Xavier Rudd fan’s are more accustom to in songs like Spirit Bird and Follow The Sun.
With the new album and a whirlwind North American tour to support it, Xavier is exporting a piece of Australian culture not often imported into our little town of Whistralia. Layer upon layer of Rudd’s music is soaked in the ancient spirituality of indigenous Australia culture.
Canadian born folk-singer Alice Russell spent her formative years in Australia, but now calls Whistler home and has followed Rudd’s music for years. Having seen Rudd perform in both Whistler and Australia, Russell promises that Rudd’s upcoming show in Whistler will be very entertaining.
“Xavier Rudd is very talented and humble,” said Russell. “He is an amazing performer and brings the music to life by playing everything himself. His music is soulful, it’s spiritual.”
In an interview with Noise11.com Rudd provides some of the background to what shapes his spiritual leanings.
“I draw a lot from aboriginal culture and the spirit of the land,” said Xavier reflectively. “A lot of religious values from what I can see and from what I’ve heard as I’ve travelled the world seem to stem from a similar call. If you strip it right back it’s that human beings are of this earth — the human connection to land happens everywhere.”
And Whistler loves him for it. Maybe it’s because of the masses of Aussies who call Whistler home, or maybe it’s just his mellow earthy vibe that finds itself at home on Easy Street just as easily as it does while floating down the River of Golden Dreams with a few wobbly-pops. Either way, Rudd is among friends here in Whistler and, judging by songs like his 2002 release of BC People, the feeling is mutual.
Xavier Rudd will be performing live in Whistler at the Garibaldi Lift Company Thursday (Nov. 15) at 9 p.m. Tickets are $45 and are available on www.ticketweb.ca.