Xavier Rudd

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Xavier Rudd
XavierRudd 1.jpg
Xavier Rudd (2009) live in Geelong, Australia.
Background information
Born (1978-05-29) 29 May 1978 (age 37)
Origin Torquay, Victoria, Australia
Genres Folk, blues, indie folk, folk rock, reggae
Occupation(s) Musician, singer-songwriter
Instruments Vocals, guitar, harmonica, yidaki, banjo, lap steel guitar, percusion
Years active 2000–present
Labels Universal Music Australia
SaltX/Universal/Fontana Records (US/Canada)
Website xavierrudd.com
Notable instruments
Weissenborn slide guitars,

Xavier Rudd (born 29 May 1978) is an Australian singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. He is well known on the music festival circuit in Australia, North America and throughout Europe. His fan base is particularly strong in Australia and in Canada, where he has recorded several albums and performed live shows.


Personal life and inspiration[edit]

Xavier Rudd grew up in Jan Juc,[1] near Torquay, Victoria.[2] He attended St Joseph's College, Geelong.[3] His maternal grandfather was Dutch, born in Tilburg, a town in the Netherlands, before migrating to Australia.[4] One of his grandmothers was from an Irish potato-growing family and grew up in Colac, Victoria.[5] His father was born with Aboriginal, Irish and Scottish heritage,[6][2] and Rudd has Wurundjeri background,[7] one of his great grandmothers was an Aboriginal Australian, and her child (Rudd's paternal grandmother) was taken away from her.[8]

Rudd showed a keen interest in music growing up.[9] While primary school-aged, Rudd used his mother's vacuum cleaner as a makeshift didgeridoo and he began playing his brother's guitar.[10] His brother can still play guitar, but went on to become an accountant in Orlando, Florida.[11]

Before his solo career he began playing music as part of the band 'Xavier and the Hum'. He drew inspiration from artists such as Leo Kottke, Ben Harper, Natalie Merchant and multi-instrumentalist David Lindley, as well as music from diverse sources, such as Hawaiian and Native American music.[12][13] His music first took him overseas when he traveled to Whistler, British Columbia—Rudd was in a band and would play each night after a day of snowboarding.[14]

Rudd met Marci Lutken, an artist from Canada, when she was backpacking in Fitzroy in 1999.[10] The two married soon after, and had two sons, Joaquin and Finojet.[15] Black Water the first track on Rudd's 2008 album Dark Shades of Blue is named after one of Lutken-Rudd's paintings.[10] Lutken-Rudd ended her and Rudd's relationship in 2009,[16][17][18] and the pair listed their off-grid, solar powered home in Jan Juc for sale.[19]

In 2011, Rudd underwent emergency back surgery,[20] to repair three herniated disks, bone spurs and nerve damage.[21] Rudd wrote the track Comfortable In My Skin, on his 2012 album Spirit Bird, when he was suffering from major nerve pain before his surgery.[22]

As at June 2015, Rudd was building a house near Byron Bay, which will include a music studio.[23]


Rudd was outspoken against Colin Barnett's plan to open up the Kimberley to mining operations.[24] He joined the Save the Kimberley movement to save James Price Point.[25]

In 2014, Rudd performed at the Bentley anti-gas blockade campsite,[26] in support of the Lock the Gate Alliance. The protestor's actions, blocking the delivery of oil and gas drilling equipment for weeks, led the Australian Government to suspend Metgasco’s drilling license.[27]

Rudd received the 'Rock the Boat Award' in 2009 for his support of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society.[28] Rudd is friends with Canadian environmentalist Paul Watson, who founded Sea Shepherd.[24]

Beliefs and actions[edit]

Rudd is a vegetarian.[29][30] Rudd was nominated for PETA's annual "World's Sexiest Vegetarian Celebrity" award in 2007.[31]

Rudd likes to spend time in the Australian bush often, and Rudd champions the traditional Aboriginal way of life.[32][33] He takes part in Aboriginal ceremonies.[34]


Rudd performs as a one-man band, 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 stompbox by his habitually bare feet, and an assortment of drums, harmonicas & bells near at hand, or near at foot as the case may be. Several of Rudd's songs incorporate socially conscious themes, such as spirituality, humanity, environmentalism and the rights of Aboriginal peoples. His songs include stories of the mistreatment of the indigenous people of his homeland.[9] Rudd has included both Australian and Canadian Aboriginal vocals in some of his songs. He plays the didgeridoo in many of his songs.

Live performances[edit]

Rudd has become a known name at music festivals worldwide including the Bonnaroo Music Festival, the High Sierra (2004 & 2007) and Wakarusa (2005), moe.down (2003), Summer Sonic, Lowlands, Rock Werchter among others. As his popularity continued to grow, he received many opportunities to perform on tour with artists including Jack Johnson, Dave Matthews, Ben Harper, Good Old War, G. Love & Special Sauce, and Rodrigo y Gabriela.[35]

Instruments Rudd plays[edit]


Studio albums[edit]

Year Title Chart positions
(sales threshold)
2002 To Let -
  • AUS: Gold
2004 Solace 13
2005 Good Spirit 16 56
  • AUS: Gold
2005 Food in the Belly 16 56
  • AUS: Platinum
2007 White Moth 6
2008 Dark Shades of Blue 5
2010 Koonyum Sun (with Izintaba) 6
2012 Spirit Bird 2
  • AUS: Gold
2015 Nanna (with The United Nations) 8

Live albums[edit]


  1. ^ Oksenhorn, Stewart (15 January 2008). "For Xavier Rudd, music is all about making connections". The Aspen Times. 
  2. ^ a b Constantin, Pierre (29 July 2015). "Xavier Rudd: keeping the aboriginal spirit alive". Cafébabel. Archived from the original on 11 August 2015. 
  3. ^ "Xavier Rudd & The United Nations unite a musical movement with debut album Nanna". Geelong Advertiser (News Corp). 16 March 2015. 
  4. ^ "Xavier set to give Moncrieff good vibes". Bundaberg News Mail (APN Australian Regional Media). 8 July 2015. Archived from the original on 28 August 2015. 
  5. ^ "Xavier Rudd's new album Nanna a tribute to grandmothers". 28 March 2015. Archived from the original on 2 August 2015. 
  6. ^ "Xavier Rudd interview (part 1)" on YouTube
  7. ^ "Xavier Rudd". Faster Louder. 25 August 2008. Archived from the original on 30 August 2015. 
  8. ^ Serukas, John (August 2015). "The Interview: Xavier Rudd". University of New South Wales. Archived from the original on 30 August 2015. 
  9. ^ a b "Xavier Rudd’s Biography – Free listening, videos, concerts, stats and pictures at". Last.fm. 2013-11-26. Retrieved 2015-05-04. 
  10. ^ a b c Murfett, Andrew (22 August 2008). "Feelings of blue". Fairfax Media. Archived from the original on 26 September 2008. 
  11. ^ Edwards, Amy (3 September 2010). "Xavier Rudd enjoying brotherly love in US". Newcastle Herald. Archived from the original on 30 August 2015. 
  12. ^ "Xavier Rudd Biography". Sortmusic.com. Retrieved 2015-05-04. 
  13. ^ Harrison, Tom (1 June 2006). "Rudd found doing what he loves". The Province. Retrieved 2007-01-03. 
  14. ^ "Xavier Rudd talks travel, inspiration and what makes a 'real' journey". Geckos Adventures. Archived from the original on 16 June 2015. 
  15. ^ Gottehrer, Zoe (3 April 2006). "Incendiary interview Xavier Rudd". Incendiary Magazine. Archived from the original on 30 August 2015. 
  16. ^ Wildsmith, Steve (11 May 2011). "Singer-songwriter Xavier Rudd goes back to his roots on newest music". The Daily Times (Maryville, Texas). 
  17. ^ Cuthbertson, Ian (22 April 2010). "Roots of a psychic revival". The Australian (News Corp). 
  18. ^ Bridges, Alicia (16 April 2010). "Rudd bounces back in style". The West Australian. Archived from the original on 30 August 2015. 
  19. ^ Xavier's eco retreat, Off Grid, 2 July 2009, archived from the original on 30 August 2015 
  20. ^ Newstead, Al (16 June 2012). "Xavier Rudd". Tone Deaf. Archived from the original on 30 August 2015. 
  21. ^ Zanotti, Marc (8 June 2012). "Xavier Rudd – Soothing Messages of Urgency". Archived from the original on 19 November 2012. 
  22. ^ Schlansky, Evan (14 May 2012). "Song Premiere: Xavier Rudd, “Comfortable In My Skin”". American Songwriter. Archived from the original on 3 December 2014. 
  23. ^ Eadie, Chloerissa (17 June 2015). "In conversation with Aussie surf roots legend Xavier Rudd". Bunbury Mail. 
  24. ^ a b "I feel like I’m ready to roar, an interview with Xavier Rudd". Circles on the Water. 2012. Archived from the original on 30 August 2015. 
  25. ^ Inman, Michael (9 August 2012). "Xavier Rudd: The spirit of the land". The Sydney Morning Herald (Fairfax Media). Archived from the original on 30 August 2015. 
  26. ^ "Xavier Rudd latest support act for Bentley protesters". The Northern Star. 29 April 2014. 
  27. ^ Travers, Andrew (12 June 2014). "Xavier Rudd (and Friends) to play Mammoth Festival". The Aspen Times. 
  28. ^ Chellingworth, Suzanne (3 July 2012). "Saviour Rudd". Nextmedia. Archived from the original on 30 August 2015. 
  29. ^ "Xavier Rudd interview". Incendiary Magazine. 28 March 2006. Retrieved 2015-05-04. 
  30. ^ "Rocker Xavier Rudd Gets Real". PETA Asia Pacific. Retrieved 2015-05-04. 
  31. ^ "World's Sexiest Vegetarian Celebrities". PETA. Retrieved 29 June 2007. (link no longer active. See here [1] for the archived version found inside the Internet Archive)
  32. ^ "Rudd relation? Hell no!". Sunshine Coast Daily (APN Australian Regional Media). 4 December 2007. Archived from the original on 10 October 2014. 
  33. ^ Drever, Andrew (27 September 2013). "Rudd flies under Australia's radar". The Sydney Morning Herald (Fairfax Media). Archived from the original on 28 August 2015. 
  34. ^ "Xavier Rudd: The Highs and Lows of Life in Music". Martyr Magazine. 21 May 2010. 
  35. ^ "Xavier Rudd - Biography". Billboard.com. Retrieved 2015-05-04. 
  36. ^ a b "Xavier Rudd - Music Charts". Acharts.us. Retrieved 2015-05-04. 
  37. ^ "ARIA Charts - Accreditations - 2005 Albums". Aria.com.au. Retrieved 2015-05-04. 
  38. ^ "ARIA: 2007 Albums". Aria.com.au. 2007-12-31. Retrieved 2015-05-04. 

External links[edit]