Xavier Rudd

Xavier Rudd

Thursday night's performance at Nashville Dancin' will be the first in Music City in a few years for Xavier Rudd, the Australian singer-songwriter. 

"It's been a while since I've been in Nashville, but it's a place that the band I really love to go. It's a good place for live musicians.  It will be a different show than we've played in the past. We've been working on some different kinds of material."

His performance comes at a time when he is on a creative roll. "At the moment, we're working on some new music.  Next year, we'll be bringing out a new record with an eight-piece reggae band," he told Billboard excitedly. "So, that's shaping up to be a very interesting experience. It's been fun. We'll have a few hints for the people in the show, you know."

His most recent album 2012's "Spirit Bird," impressed many listeners with its mix of folk style lyrical content and blues laden guitar. "That album was quite powerful, and it was all over the place," he told The 615. There's a lot of respect for that record. The touring cycle was absolutely beautiful. We had a lot of great work and conversations that came out of that record. It was a very special album to me to work on. It took me through some interesting times, but we're surviving. It's all about new beginnings."

Having had creative control with his music, Rudd stresses what you hear with his music is 100% artist-inspired. "I've always done things my own way from the beginning. I wanted to maintain my independence and my own creative path, so I always turned away from deals or offers that could have changed that. I never wanted to bring too many cooks into the kitchen. I'm happy doing things my own way. I've always trusted my own intuition and the spirit guiding me with patience. Some interesting doors have opened in my career for sure, some that I might have otherwise passed. So, it's been an interesting journey."

This summer, in addition to Nashville Dancin', Rudd will be all over the United States – with dates scheduled in Colorado, Georgia, North Carolina, as well as a June 24 date at the Brooklyn Bowl. "We get around a lot. We've got some new locations on the schedule that I've never been to, like Santa Fe."

Between his stage show, and the upcoming Reggae-influenced album, Rudd says he loves coming up with music from left field. "You got to keep people guessing. I do that sub-consciously. I don't even mean to do that. Every album I've ever made was different from the next one, and they all represent different cycles of life. Things always change, and music is a direct reflection of where you are in life, and sometimes a prelude. I sometimes feel like my music is a little bit ahead of me in my journey. I'm very passionate about music. I respect it like I do my grandmother, and I don't try to change it too much. I just let it happen. I try to let it be, shift and come through." 

Does his directions ever surprise himself? "Actually, it does sometimes,' he says with a laugh. "The direction I'm moving in now is the album I've wanted to make. It's taken a little while to get it right. I'm excited about that. I feel like I've waited for a longtime to get this record out. It actually keeps me guessing, which is a good thing."