Xavier Rudd: Food In The Belly

By Brian Heisler

After being released in Australia and Canada in 2005 and 2006, respectively, Xavier Rudd's Food In The Belly finally comes out Stateside in 2007. Rudd has been touring for a while with the music from this album, making this new recording that's already a familiar friend to his fans.

Rudd has yet to make a big impact with any of his studio releases. His previous record, Solace, was the best representation of his talents so far. Musically, there is no reason why Solace shouldn't have been a bigger hit in the United States, where he's yet to reach his full potential. Food In The Belly is an excellent follow-up to Solace that's more subtle and personal. The 13-tracks are an even mix of quiet, one-man pleas and simple, positive, energetic pieces. This is the kind of album you play on a porch while sipping lemonade in the calm of a hot summer day.

"Letters" begins eerily quiet but picks up as slide guitar leads into "Messages." The defining song of the album, "Messages" blends Rudd's brilliant singing and musicianship with Neil Golden on tabla and Beth Preston on vocals. It's not just the didgeridoos and the acoustic instruments that sets "Zaves" apart, it's Rudd's vocal range and ability to extend his falsetto with his Australian accent in a soft and bright way. There are many points on this album where Xavier backs off like the calm before a storm and then jumps in with a bouncing melody.

Dave Tolley's snare drum on "Energy Song" is a perfect match for the song's title, creating a friendly, folk feel. The foot-stomping title track is becoming yet another crowd pleaser with its catchy chorus and head-bobbing beat. "Connie's Song" adds Brad Murihead on tuba and producer Tom Simko on banjo and whistle on a pleasant skipping-to-the-waterhole type song. The simple sound of Xavier's music is actually a great measure of his songwriting, only adding what he really feels needs to be in the music.

Each song seems a springboard for future live performances. It is as if the listener is peering through a window only being allowed vision to restricted aspects of Rudd's art. He is an excellent musician, but also a great songwriter, telling thoughtful stories with personable lyrics. Food In The Belly is another stroke of brilliance from this Aussie musician.

JamBase | DownUnder
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[Published on: 1/31/07]

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Tan starstarstarstarstar Wed 1/31/2007 11:32AM
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Love this guy. When is he touring?

lovelivedos Wed 1/31/2007 05:38PM
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xavier needs to spend more time state-side and hit the road. hope to see him more often.

mojofolk Thu 2/1/2007 10:21AM
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Xavier Rudd puts on one helluva show... I hope to get the chance to see him again

dadainohio starstarstarstarstar Tue 2/13/2007 10:52AM
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This guy is INSANELY GROOVY ! When i look for music i think have i heard it before ???? NO way with this guy. only the dead sound like the dead only zeppelin sounds like zepplin so on an so on. he has a great sound all his own.

sunny19 starstarstarstarstar Thu 2/15/2007 11:06AM
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unique style and original.One of the most talented artists out there today

rebubula7 Fri 2/23/2007 08:43AM
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He usually comes around in the midsummer. He is a dual citizen with Australia and Canada. I've seen him 2 years in a row and don't plan on missing him this year. go see him! the energy is nuts!

DaMule starstarstarstar Mon 2/26/2007 11:18AM
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big fan of the new album, highly recommend it and I cant wait to hear the 'new' material live when xavier returns to tour the northeast.