TRUE BLUE

XAVIER RUDD JOINS A SWAG OF ACTS HEAD­ING TO BY­RON FOR BLUES­FEST

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - FRONT PAGE - JENNA MEADE

Xavier Rudd wants to get you shak­ing your booty. The Torquay­born mu­si­cian has gone from a one-man band to the front­man of a show­case of global mu­si­cal tal­ent, cre­at­ing a fresh sound per­fect for danc­ing.

Ear­lier this month, the 36year-old roots mas­ter re­leased Nanna, the de­but al­bum from his new band Xavier Rudd & The United Na­tions – a col­lec­tive of mu­si­cians from all cor­ners of the globe, in­clud­ing Australia, South Africa, Samoa, Ger­many and Pa­pua New Guinea.

And if you’re lucky enough to be go­ing along to his gig at Blues­fest this week­end, he’s got some sound ad­vice.

“Ex­pect to shake your booty – get ready for an epic, groovy time,” Xavier says, laugh­ing.

Fans would be used to see­ing the mu­si­cian on stage with a half-dozen gui­tars, didgeri­doos and var­i­ous drums.

But now they will be treated to an even more pow­er­ful sound, with the ad­di­tion of more per­cus­sion, keys, horns, flute and back­ing vo­cals.

“This is some­thing I’ve wanted to do for a long time, but I was pa­tient be­cause I wanted it to be heavy and pow­er­ful,” Xavier ex­plains.

“It was a very or­ganic process; the right peo­ple pre­sented at the right time. It was like our an­ces­tors all sat down to­gether, had a cup of tea and chose each per­son for the band.”

Since he broke out on the Aussie mu­sic scene in 2003 with his hit Let Me Be, Xavier has gained global recog­ni­tion and a le­gion of fans from tour­ing the world and a string of ARIA nom­i­na­tions.

But, even af­ter his world­wide suc­cess and the mak­ing of his eighth al­bum, he re­mains as hum­ble as ever.

For Xavier, mak­ing mu­sic isn’t about col­lect­ing ac­co­lades, but about con­nect­ing with peo­ple.

When asked to share some of those touch­ing mo­ments, he ad­mits there have been too many.

“I al­ways feel re­ally blessed to do what I do,” says Xavier, who has per­formed with stars in­clud­ing Jack John­son, Ben Harper and Dave Matthews Band.

“It’s also a mas­sive com­pli­ment when I find out I have been a part of other peo­ple’s jour­neys, like when they use my mu­sic in fu­ner­als and wed­dings.”

And it’s not just mu­sic where he spreads im­por­tant mes­sages of hu­man­ity and en­vi­ron­men­tal­ism. Xavier also works hard as an ac­tivist to raise aware­ness of Australia’s en­vi­ron­men­tal plight.

Causes close to his heart are the Save the Kim­ber­ley move­ment, on­go­ing Sea Shep­herd cam­paigns, stop­ping the Coal Seam Gas project in the Pi­laga For­est in New South Wales and the plight of the Great Bar­rier Reef.

“I re­ally want to start rais­ing more aware­ness of the Great Bar­rier Reef this year,” he says.

“It’s a real prob­lem that un­for­tu­nately peo­ple seem to for­get about.”

But his most im­por­tant role is that of dad to his two sons, Joaquin, 14, and Fi­no­jet, 9.

And like most par­ents, he has to work hard at the ca­reer/life bal­ance to make sure he can be the best fa­ther he can be to his grow­ing boys.

“I have chunks of the year where I’m away, but I al­ways spend as much time as pos­si­ble with them when I’m around,” he says.

“And it’s qual­ity time be­cause my days are free when I’m home; I don’t have to be any­where.

“Some­times when a fam­ily is to­gether it’s easy to take each other for granted; I’ve never found that with my kids, we re­ally re­spect the time we have to­gether.”

He says his boys are show­ing signs of fol­low­ing in his foot­steps.

“They don’t want to be shown any­thing, they like cre­at­ing their own sounds and I un­der­stand that,” he says

Xavier will per­form his lo­cal Aus­tralian shows be­fore em­bark­ing over­seas to Amer­ica and Europe with his new band and pow­er­ful new sound.

Xavier Rudd & The United Na­tions, Blues­fest, Tya­garah Tee Tree Farm, Sun­day.

EX­PECT TO SHAKE YOUR BOOTY – GET READY FOR AN EPIC, GROOVY TIME

Pic­ture: JANE RAN­TALL

Xavier Rudd & The United Na­tions will be shar­ing their unique sounds at Blues­fest.

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