Xavier Rudd
Food in the Belly
(Universal)
Australian singer/guitarist Xavier Rudd has the curse of sounding and playing as well as early Ben Harper. Rudd matches his slide playing well to his voice, which goes from whispery to urgent throughout Food in the Belly. His politics and consciousness shine through on the title track and others, including “Generation Fade” and “Pockets of Peace.” He’s particularly tuned to the plight of aboriginal peoples in Australia, choosing to write bluesy anthems instead of, say, Midnight Oil’s rock barrages. The waltzing “Connie’s Song” provides a possible future direction, something less righteous but still spirit-affirming, something a little more—uh-oh—Jack Johnson.
—Sean Flinn

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