I find myself in a dissimilar position to others who cover this type of topic. You see, I’m not talking about someone I’ve just found on the internet, or discovered in a small dingy venue supporting a band I know already. I’m not talking about someone who’s just breaking into the limelight, but instead discussing an artist with a mass following and a large back catalogue.
With people bouncing backwards and forwards to him between the UK and Australia, it’s very surprising that Xavier Rudd remains off the radar in this country. Although he brings some tremendously innovative slide guitar playing to the table, along with more conventional upright methods, it’s Rudd’s use of the didgeridoo that attracts attention. It underpins his songwriting with a real sense of the spirit of his country.
With five studio albums already recorded, Rudd just seems to be getting started on reflecting a life fuelled by an appreciation of nature, friendships and the peculiar politics affecting the life of Australia’s indigenous population. Looking as though he’d just wandered off the beach with a surfboard, Rudd is an unassuming character who is content to roll out music which talks for him.
His last two releases White Moth and Dark Shades of Blue have made him well-known in his home country - and even across into the American market with their strong blues and roots following. This distinctive, definitive sound of a nation must be on its way over here soon.
words: Steve Welch