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Aussie Xavier Rudd’s ‘Spirit Bird’ to fly into Columbus

Courtesy of James Looker

While most musicians record in a studio or collaborate with other artists to produce an album, Australian singer and multi-instrumentalist Xavier Rudd recorded in the open air of the Outback, collaborating with birds to produce his newest album “Spirit Bird.”

With his message of protecting the environment and free-spirit attitude, Rudd is slated to perform at 7 p.m. Friday at Newport Music Hall.

He is returning to Columbus in support of his seventh studio album “Spirit Bird,” which released June 5.

“A lot of the inspiration to make this record stems from the northwest of Australia, where Americans would call the ‘Outback’ of Australia. I spent a lot of time up there and it’s one of the last great wildernesses in the Outback,” Rudd said.

While staying there, Rudd said he recorded chirps from 30 species of birds to use throughout the album. He also used 15 instruments to get the various sounds that are presented on the album which ranged from guitars to percussion instruments.

“I always taught myself how to play music. I never focused on one instrument. I like playing and using a lot of eclectic sounds,” Rudd said.

He also said he always knew he would be playing music as a career, and said he drew on music from artists his dad used to listen to as a kid, such as Jimi Hendrix, Paul Simon and Neil Young, for inspiration.

“There’s a strong spirit that’s been with me, always presenting music and just respecting it,” Rudd said. “It attracts a lot of people and it connects with a lot of causes. It’s really a natural feeling when it comes to music and it’s something I don’t plan.”

Rudd said he enjoys performing on tour, especially in America.

“The thing about touring is I just enjoy playing the shows,” Rudd said. “America’s never a dull moment and I take whatever comes during tour. I look forward to seeing a lot of the people that come out and see me. The energy of the crowd is almost like a church congregation.”

Rudd said he feels blessed to have been in the music industry this long. One constant focus he has in his music is remaining socially conscious with issues such as deforestation and destruction of the environment.

“Xavier is a singer/multi-instrumentalist that brings positive energy, positive vibes and a great performance in general,” said Gary Strack, a publicist for Another Reybee Production. “He (also) cares a lot about nature and human rights, he raises awareness of things people aren’t aware about.”

Marissa Luther, marketing manager for PromoWest Productions, said Columbus should expect a good show from Rudd.

“We’ve had Xavier out multiple times. He has great music and his people are great to work with,” Luther said.

But Rudd said you can’t rely on others for success.

“There have been a lot of highs and lows. In the music industry you have to be streetwise, you have to keep your finger on the pulse of the public, you have to make sure you maintain your independence,” Rudd said. “People come and go, but you have to keep driving the bus.”

Tickets for the show are $22 at the door and $20 in advance.

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