Xavier Rudd - Band in one man

Xavier Rudd's mellow voice projects out over speaker phone. His relaxed tone already gives the impression of a soul sailing in calm waters, someone well versed in the down to earth truths that can only be found in the bellies and wooden sound chambers of an acoustic artist.


He sits well within a scene that consists of such other acoustic players such as the John Butler Trio, The Beautiful Girls and Jack Johnson just to name a few. Each give a glimpse back to a time when music was something much simpler and yet much more powerful with its message. Sounds that shape images of campfires dotting the eastern coast line of Australia and to times when the six strings gave way to nights of blissful exploration of both mind and body. A lovely cliché for all surf and sand types - but some would say that Xavier transcended that genre long ago.


Bearing witness to his performance, it can be safely said that it's like watching some sort of a musical evolution. Each limb becomes a separate entity with a musical life of its own. To label the man with the joking title "one man band" does him no justice. "One Man Band" portrays the image of a badly dressed street side singer peddling his musical wares on a badly tuned guitar with cymbals between the knees. That is not the kind of "one man band" who sells out shows and has gained platinum album status.


"It was never really planned, what I've got going on," Xavier calmly states, "It's funny. Sometimes I just look at it all and laugh. How did it all come about overtime? I just collected things. Play things by themselves, play them together."


He then pauses and laughs


"It would be devastating to be travelling on my own again. It's nice to have a bunch of crew to carry it all around for me."


Such are the trappings of fame it seems. Since the release of "Solace" here in Australia in 2004 and most recently the United States of America, Xavier has been doing the international rounds. Now with his national tour looming along with an upcoming LP about to land on the shelves, he has more than his fair share of work cut out.


"My new albums coming out just before the tour in a couple of weeks. It's called Fruit of the Valley. It was recorded in Canada in May. So I'll definitely be playing a few tunes off that for sure. It was a great recording process. Spent a month doing it. This is the longest time I've spent in a studio. It gave me time to explore my ideas. I'm really proud of it".


Though to call it work for Xavier would be wrong. It seems to be more a spiritual awakening. Each show providing him an opportunity to connect with something greater than himself.


"I open myself up completely with my music and make a full expression of myself. Peel away my flesh. Let no boundaries develop. By doing this, other people feel comfortable. It's not just me and the audience. It's all of us," he says.


"I'm psychically channelling the audio but I'm inspired and driven by those around me. It's all energy, dreaming and spirit. We're exchanging. It's a big celebration."


For all the success and the cloud of hype that engulfs this man, he has managed to remain humble and is still truly thankful for the offerings the musical world has provided him.


"What I'm doing is my life. Touring, performing and recording. I'm part of that whole scene. Life, energy, connection and spirit. When you are a musician you lead a gifted life. You get to connect with a whole bunch of people, whole bunch of places and situations," he states.


"Things are always new to me. I'm constantly spun out you know? I'm so lucky to be doing what I'm doing. Sometimes, I feel guilty about it."


Ignoring critique of his impending release "Fruit of the valley" will allow audience members both new and old to judge how to interpret Xavier Rudd. If they'll only see him as the clichéd "One Man Band" as so many have dubbed him or, as he truly is "The Band in One Man", is up to the listener. But whether or not it is wise to dwell on matters such as those is a question unto itself, with perhaps the only solace being found in Xavier's own words


"I just do what I do…"

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