Xavier Rudd’s most recent release White Moth continues to draw on aboriginal life

:: Aggie Theatre :: January 17 :: Boulder Theater :: January 18 ::
 :: Gothic Theatre :: January 19 ::


By Lisa Oshlo

The stage setup for Xavier Rudd does not look like that of a one-man band. Consisting of multiple didgeridoos, a slide guitar, 6- and 12-string acoustic and electric guitars, a stomp box, harmonicas, an Aztec drum, a slit drum, a strumpet, a djembe, shakers, a slide banjo, ankle bells, and a bass guitar, it looks more like the instrumentation of a rather large tribe.

In truth, Australian Xavier Rudd channels the sensibilities of the indigenous tribes of his native land and mixes it with a truly fantastic groove. The result is a sound that encompasses folk, reggae, rock, and world music. The lyrics reflect a consciousness about big issues, particularly aboriginal rights and environmentalism.

Earth stewardship is a huge part of life for the Bell’s Beach, Victoria native, and it influences the way he makes music. The Marquee recently caught up with Rudd in Australia, where he talked more about this connection.

“The energy of a place really has an effect on me, which has an effect on the music,” said Rudd. “[For the last album] we recorded the fire, rain, frogs … the energy of a sacred land is strong, but mostly for how it influences the musician. I write all of my music in those situations.”

Rudd taps into this primordial energy in other ways as well, as evidenced by the aboriginal musicians that play alongside him on his most recent release, White Moth. “There’s something really powerful about that experience, which words can’t really explain. It’s very old and very strong, and it was a real honor to play with them,” he said.

In addition to all of this, there is something undeniably ancient about the deep bass of the didgeridoo, Rudd’s primary instrument and that for which he is best known. Although drawn to many instruments, “I’ve always had a connection with [the didgeridoo]since I was a child,” said Rudd, who felt guided to the instrument by the spirit of an old woman that’s been with him since he was born.

Despite being musical since he was a child, Rudd never felt the need to perform until encouraged by his wife Marci, a French-Canadian he met while she was backpacking in Australia. Since that time, he has released three studio albums and has become a fixture at roots music festivals. To Let was released exclusively in Australia in 2002. Following an overwhelmingly positive response Down Under, Rudd released Solace worldwide in 2004, Food In The Belly in 2005, and White Moth in June of 2007.

Rudd is launching a North American tour in support of the new album on Jan. 8 in Santa Cruz, Calif. While most comfortable on Australian soil, Rudd looks forward to returning to the United States. “What I draw from in the U.S. is the culture and the deep musical history,” he said. “And I love the American people. They have such a colorful energy in the circle that I move. The integration of so many cultures, and that the people are really free. I love to draw from that.”

:: Xavier Rudd ::

:: Aggie Theatre :: January 17 ::

:: Boulder Theater :: January 18 ::

:: Gothic Theatre :: January 19 ::

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