Xavier Rudd is an Australian singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. He was born in 1978 and grew up in Torquay, Victoria. He attended St. Joseph’s College, Geelong.
He has developed a strong reputation for playing live performances at musical festivals and concerts in Australia and in North America. His following is particularly strong in Australia and in Canada, where he has recorded several albums.
Many of Rudd’s songs incorporate socially conscious themes, such as environmentalism and the rights of Aboriginal peoples. In addition to playing the didgeridoo in many of his songs, he has also included both Australian and Canadian Aboriginal vocals in some of his songs.
Xavier Rudd showed a keen interest in music growing up and learned to play the didgeridoo by practicing on a vacuum cleaner hose. Before his solo career he began playing music as part of the band ‘Xavier and the Hum’.
Rudd’s first studio album, To Let was released in 2002. It was self produced along with Chris Thompson, who also recorded and mixed it.
Solace was released on March 28, 2004 and debuted in the top twenty in the Australian album charts. With time, the album was certified platinum by ARIA.
The album was released on June 7, 2005 in the United States on the Universal Records label. To support the album in the U.S., Rudd embarked on a 25-date tour of the country throughout the summer of 2005, starting on June 3 in Boston and ending in Chicago on July 31.
Main article: Food in the Belly
After Rudd released the live album Good Spirit in early 2005, Rudd’s third studio album, Food in the Belly, was released on October 27, 2005 in Australia. When describing the album, Rudd said:
“ “(I had) no thoughts or aims. It was just a reflection of my journey for the past two years after recording Solace. Those two years were full of travel and connection with people and places and spirit, and definitely Food in the Belly is a reflection of that. I feel really good about this album it contains a lot of good memories. The whole process of recording it was really positive.” ”
Food in the Belly earned Rudd an ARIA Music Awards nomination for Best Blues and Roots Album at the 2006 ceremony. This was Rudd’s second nomination in this category, the first for Solace. In addition, the album was soon certified gold by the ARIA.
Food in the Belly was the first album by Rudd released in the United States by Epitaph’s ANTI- record label. Rudd chose to release the album through an independent label in the States, instead of through his Australian label, Universal. The album was released on January 31, 2007.
Touring followed the release of the album, including a string of European dates with supporting act Keller Williams.
In February 2007, Rudd stated that he was “in the studio right now recording the next album, which should come out sometime in the next year”. Four months later in June 2007, Rudd’s fourth studio album, White Moth was released. It was Rudd’s first album with the ANTI- record company. The album peaked at #30 on the Billboard Heatseekers chart in June. The first single from White Moth was the first track off the album, “Better People”.
White Moth’s success earned an ARIA Music Awards nomination for Best Blues and Roots Album at the 2007 ceremony, but lost to John Butler Trio’s multi-platinum Grand National.
To promote album, Rudd performed as both a headlining act and as an opening act for the Dave Matthews Band in a portion of their summer North American tour. In addition to the Dave Matthews Band, Rudd toured with Canadian singer-songwriter Jeremy Fisher for much of 2007, stopping in North America during the summer and Australia later in the year. As a headlining act, Rudd performed at many music festivals in both the United States and Australia such as the West Coast Blues & Roots Festival, Bonnaroo, and High Sierra. In November, he was featured in the MySpace “Rock for Darfur” event in Sydney. In the same month, a North American tour starting in 2008 was announced. It started in January in Santa Clause, and the last date was in the end of February in Vancouver. Rudd also performed at various Australian festivals such as the West Coast Blues & Roots and East Coast Blues & Roots festivals in March, before a brief European tour spanning from August to September.
On June 18, 2008, Rudd announced via his official website and MySpace that he was preparing to release his fifth studio album, Dark Shades of Blue, two months later on August 19, 2008. According to Rudd, the bulk of the album is “darker”, but on the contrary, that “there is a lot of sunshine in the record.” He also said that he thought “we captured what we do live, the thickness of it, the tone. I think we finally achieved what I’ve always wanted to hear on my recordings.” In addition to the album, an upcoming tour announcement was unveiled, with stops in Europe and Japan over the summer, the United States in September (including the Austin City Limits Music Festival), and an Australian tour in the fall.
In between touring, Rudd has been busy writing the score for the upcoming Tarun Tikoo surf film Surfer Dude. McConaughey, a Rudd-fan, said that “the score he lays down, like our film, will be anything but typical”.
Rudd has become a fixture at music festivals worldwide including the A Campingflight to Lowlands Paradise (2006), Falls Festival (2002, 2003 & 2004), the Meredith Music Festival (2003 & 2004), the East Coast Blues & Roots Music Festival (2003, 2004, 2006, 2007, & 2008), the Woodford Folk Festival (2003 & 2006), the Melbourne International Music Festival (2004), Womadelaide (2004), the Winnipeg Folk Festival (2004 & 2005), the Bonnaroo Music Festival (2004, 2005, & 2007), the Ottawa Bluesfest (2004, 2005 & 2007), the High Sierra (2004 & 2007), the West Coast Blues & Roots Festival (2004, 2005, 2007, & 2008), the Wakarusa (2005), FloydFest World Music Festival (2005), the Pyramid Rock Festival (2006), The Great Escape (festival) (2006), V2006 (2006), Rock Werchter (2006), T in the Park (2006), Oxegen (2006), Optimus Alive (2008), Bumbershoot (2008) and the Austin City Limits FevitalsBeautiful Days (festival) (2008).
He has also worked extensively in North America including a support slot for Ani DiFranco, a support slot at the Philadelphia Folk Festival and a Moonshine benefit at Laguna Beach, California with Jack Johnson and G. Love & Special Sauce.