Xavier Rudd returns to Whistler 

Mountain West Music Fest heralds a homecoming for Australian folk musician


Who: Xavier Rudd

What: Mountain West Music Fest

When: Saturday, Aug. 22, 7:15 p.m.

Where: Whistler driving range
Cost: $60 (Sat. only), $85 (Sat. & Sun.)

Xavier Rudd is something of a legend in this town. Perhaps it's because the legions of Aussies that call Whistler home have simply decided to share one of their cherished talents with their Canadian counterparts, or maybe it's just that this folk musician's music hit home with the local crowd, with its sunny, upbeat feel and socially conscious lyrical content.

Rudd, a veritable one-man-band, puts on legendary stage shows, creating heartfelt music using guitar, didge, and a range of percussion instruments - simultaneously.

A keen musician even as a young child, Rudd started out transforming his mom's vacuum cleaner tubes into makeshift didgeridoos and writing little ditties.

"I remember my mom asking me where it was and telling me not to do it because I was going to get sick," Rudd recalled. "Mom was kind of concerned."

As Rudd got older, he continued to explore his musical side, gradually adding instruments to his repertoire, which today includes guitars, yikadi (a.k.a. the didge), Weissenborn slide guitars, the stomp box, harmonica and various percussion.

"I was kind of always on my own sort of trip, sort of in my own head - which is still how I am today, a bit - but I guess I was always the kid who was keen to try anything, play anything, whatever was around I'd just play."

Songwriting has also always been a natural process for Rudd, who has been writing lyrics and music for many years.

"I guess songwriting has always been in me, before I even knew what was happening. I always sort of expressed my emotions through song or melody," he said. "...The music still comes from the same place - I don't think too much about it, I just feel it and let it come."

Rudd's music is always natural, never forced - which comes through after listening to just about any track. His sound is organic, solid and laidback.

"I listen to a whole bunch of music. I think that everything that you see and hear as a musician you're influenced by, for sure. I listen to such a big range of different music, but what I do myself is not really focused on anyone else. I don't have to think about what I do - I never have had to," Rudd said.

"Sometimes I feel by doing that, you're ignoring what's in your heart by being in your head all the time, because you think it should be a certain way and you're shutting off that avenue into your heart. And if there's music in your heart, it'll come out the way it's meant to."

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