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Xavier Rudd

Like Jack Johnson, independent Australian musician Xavier Rudd combines a love of surfing with a love of roots music. Like Ben Harper, he plays Weissenborn lap steel guitars. Utterly unlike both of those musicians, however, he has a unique setup. Rudd is a one-man band who plays surrounded by instruments in a complicated array: typically, he has three didgeridoos placed in front of him on a stand, a guitar on his lap, a stomp box by his habitually bare feet, and an assortment of drums, banjos, harmonicas, bells, and bass guitar near at hand, or near at foot, as the case may be. He takes this setup with him on frequent tours (as well as his surfboards), relying on word of mouth rather than record labels to speak for him. His albums, several of them live recordings, are most often for sale at these sold-out gigs.

Rudd first learned the circular breathing technique required to play the didgeridoo by practicing on a vacuum cleaner hose. While growing up in Torquay and Bell's Beach in Victoria he also learned guitar, clarinet, and saxophone. He seemed destined to be a musician, but could never focus on just the one instrument, preferring to find ways to combine them together, such as by playing basslines on his guitar while simultaneously finger-picking on the lower strings. All these skills came together when he began busking and traveling.

During his travels, Rudd discovered an affinity for Canada, where he has dual citizenship. His wife is also a Canadian he met while she was backpacking through Australia. The first document of his performances, Live in Canada, was recorded there in 2001 and helped spread the word. His first studio album, To Let, followed a year later.

2003 saw another independently released document of his stage performances in Live at the Grid. His next studio album, 2004's Solace, tried to capture his live sound by eschewing guest artists; Rudd played all the instruments himself with only a few overdubs. Solace contained his cover of Bob Marley's "No Woman No Cry" and the single "Let Me Be," which he plays a popular extended version of at his concerts. The album, still independently released, was his first to be distributed by Universal, gaining a wider audience. It debuted in the Top 20 of the ARIA charts and attained platinum sales.

Gaining more attention, he toured with Jack Johnson as well as G. Love & Special Sauce. Another live album, Good Spirit, was recorded at three of his Australian gigs and released in 2005. The same year brought the release of Food in the Belly, a studio album recorded in Vancouver, which saw guest artists including Beth Preston, Harry Manx, and the Vancouver Children's Choir brought in. This album also went platinum in Australia.

Rudd is one of a growing number of environmentally concerned musicians dedicated to reducing the impact of his performances and tours. His touring in 2007 in support of his album White Moth was entirely carbon-neutral. The album itself, while continuing his blues and roots mix of folk, reggae, rock, and world music, reflects this in its themes, with songs about global warming and his guilt over the fact that he has a higher profile than many of the environmental activists he idolizes. He released the similarly themed Dark Shades of Blue the following year. His 2010 album, Koonyum Sun, was recorded with his new band Izintaba, featuring the South African rhythm section of bassist Tio Moloantoa and percussionist Andile Nqubezelo.

Rudd scaled things back for 2102's Spirit Bird on Side One Dummy, choosing to record solo again. It entered the Australia's ARIA charts at number two. After touring, Rudd began, quite by chance, to assemble a full scale band for his next project. Xavier Rudd & the United Nations is an international nonet whose members hail from Europe, Indonesia, Africa, Australia, and New Zealand. Only Moloantoa has collaborated with Rudd before. The band's sound has reggae at its heart, but encompasses a wide range of global sounds. Nanna, the band's debut album, was released by Nettwerk in early 2015. ~ Jody Macgregor, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

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Sounds so much like Paul Simon!
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bruckiejr5
Xavier gives too much credit to Jack Johnson and Ben Harper in his bio. Xavier's musical talents and vocals set the his own standards and Aussie Coast music genre.
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barbone5
I think he's channeling John Denver
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crofty98
LOVE his music/msg, but saw him live at the Slowdown in Omaha, NE and he was either out of his mind on hallucinogen s or was temporarily insane, or he hated his job that night, as all he did was jump around on the stage like a monkey...and acted COMPLETELY out of his mind. Literally weirdest show I have ever seen. It was like he hated playing for the audience, or again, he was on serious drugs. I hope it was drugs, because I had a lot of respect for him and his music.
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Favorite song!!!!!
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rudd and jb, they kill it.. thanks for the vibes..see u at red rocks when u come out..
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Painful!
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Best Didge Track since Aphex Twin!
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stacey05
sounds exactly like Paul Simon
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Xavier Rudd we love you Thank you
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What a gig it would be Rudd and Butler together! That I would like to see
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I agree @sshealy7! I thought it was paul Simon as well. I will be checking deeper into this dude. Good stuff!
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Man, I thought I WAS hearing Paul Simon till I looked! The song Messenger is spot on Simon.
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First saw Rudd at Marion Bay in Tasmania, Australia. Awesome vibe live.
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similar artists list is missing something here, but kayakphish got it. Paul Simon.
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Love this guy his music is so frigging chill I just heard about him and his music and I've already smoked a fat blunt to his music and am ridiculously calm right now it's time to take a nap lmao peace out cyber world I'm going to go take a nap right about now
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Ruddy
Thanks mate, you chill me out,
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jlb1113
voice sounds like Paul Simon
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bobonnit, do you think he is annoying because he is incredibly talented and you are not? the man deserves respect, he is honourable, skilled, a beautiful soul and if you have experienced him live you would understand his magical bond with the people.
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Wow, thought I was listening to a Paul Simon spin-off group.
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he is annoying
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.
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ll2626
Please come to the North Coast Humboldt CA. We surf, Hug trees, Eat local and have a great radio station without the rules KHUM that plays your music. You would sell out in hours. we would take good care of you and your friends;-) Leighann
Report as inappropriate
djmcaper
This one man band is frigging incredible and was a treat for the soul in Baltimore recently. We traveled from SC to see him.
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The vibes off of Rudd are sublime. I can't wait to see him in concert.
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Funky, man...
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Bio states: Rudd first learned the circular breathing technique required to play the didgeridoo.. . . Want to say I teach dij and believe it is NOT required. Of course it will make your playing more dynamic and is a goal to reach for, but if you are interested in learning and can't foresee circular breathing, do NOT let this stop you. You can have a ton of fun without it...relax, play, enjoy (letting go of words like require you might find it easier that you think). ~steps from soap box~
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swilson4327
Inspiring, Aware and very talented! Depending on what album and even song you are listening to, you can compare him to a lot of different artists but Xavier stands alone when you consider his song writing skills and themes and his muscial talents as well as his voice. All around, my favortie artist! Can't wait to see him in Portland, Maine this summer!!
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dmaronick
please - x rudd is amazaz.. god lot
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No questions any one wants to ask? Me ? Yeah me? Why games every nite ???
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blc624
I absolutely LOVE Xavier Rudd. Cannot wait to see him LIVE AGAIN.
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He's awesome & u r all Christians amazing love it & Jesus !!!!
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You might include Paul Simon in the similar artists, I thought it was something from Graceland in the intro.
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tedies
love
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fireshanti
His energy and words are magical. Such an amazing artist. He sings for peace and love for all.
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This man makes great music. Everythime I hear one of he songs it puts a smile on my face and for that I am thankful =) =) =)
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An awesome artist!
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simple, yet sooo meaningful
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no were close to jack..
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I agree MMC, Xavier has a variety and depth that Jack and his cookie-cutte r songs can't touch.
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he warms my soul. I can't believe the first words of his bio are like Jack Johnson .... Jack Johnson does not even compare to this man.
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John Green brought me here, and just like most stuff he has great taste.
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So much Paul Simon sound - Graceland album. I dig it!
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haha, yes, sounds just like simon
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Yes, very surprised his bio doesn't mention a Paul Simon influence- sounds just like him, which isn't necessarily a bad thing
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good tune, great artist. thanks for making the music
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wow
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One of the most soulful artists currently in the scene.. Amazingly talented and conscious.. Thank you Xavier!
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yep, thought it was off P.S.'s new album...mayb e they'd make a great duo?
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skirtsoplain
weird
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