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Xavier Rudd, Spirit Bird
SideOneDummy Records, June 5

05/24/12
By Eric Saeger news@hippopress.com



 There really is no sound quite like that of a didgeridoo, the glowering jumbo-sized wind instrument native to Aboriginal folk music. Rudd, an Australian folkie, uses this instrument to great effect, transcending the obvious New Age feel and throwing in slammy hard-rock drums on openening tune “Lioness Eye,” therein creating, in an odd way, an Australian reply to Enigma’s “Return to Innocence.” It’s eerie stuff, certainly, even when Rudd puts aside the indigenous trappings and concentrates on his high-pitched-Eels-like voice on guitar-centric government-issue folk. If this all makes him sound like some sort of inaccessible weirdo, then I haven’t done my job — though eclectic and sometimes a bit mawkish, this is a unique slant on the sort of ethereal escapist stuff associated with your basic western yoga retreat. A —Eric W. Saeger






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