Union Transfer

1026 SPRING GARDEN STREET, PHILADELPHIA, PA 19123 Ι 215-232-2100

Xavier Rudd

Xavier Rudd

Ash Grunwald

Wed, June 25, 2014

Doors: 8:00 pm / Show: 8:30 pm

Union Transfer

Philadelphia, PA

$20.00 - $22.00

This event is all ages

Xavier Rudd
Xavier Rudd
Since the very beginning, Xavier Rudd's ability to connect with people has been his most powerful gift. The more he has toured the world, the more hearts he has touched and the more of the world he has put back into his music.

Enthralling audiences with his ability to wield so many instruments at once, Xavier's 2002 debut album, To Let, introduced a sound that was a mix of guitars, yidakis (didgeridoos), stomp box and percussion, blues harp and vocals. Something distinctly new, yet tied back through time to the spirit of our ancestors. With a sound established, Xavier's 2004 sophomore album, Solace, was testament to the power of his songwriting abilities. Debuting in the top 20 of the ARIA charts, it was met as an instant classic; going Platinum and earning Xavier two ARIA nominations, with three of its songs – ‘Let Me Be’, ‘Shelter’ and ‘Solace’ – voted into triple j's Hottest 100.

Only a year later, Xavier was receiving his third ARIA nomination, this time for third album Food in the Belly. Celebrated for Xavier's abilities to effortlessly weave genres together - from the reggae sway of ‘The Mother’, to the irresistible tribal jam of ‘Manã’ - Food in the Belly impacted strongly in Australia and Europe, landing Xavier on the Dutch album charts for the first time and going on to be certified Platinum in Australia. Xavier's Gold-selling follow-up, White Moth, continued on this path of international success. Released in 2007 on Epitaph sister label ANTI-, White Moth reached #30 on the US Billboard charts and earned Xavier another ARIA nomination back home.

Nudging ahead of White Moth one spot to peak on the ARIA charts at #5, 2008's Dark Shades of Blue was Xavier's biggest musical departure, yet resulted in massive fan and critical acclaim. Gritty, dark and introspective, the album connected deeply with fans, and reintroduced Xavier as a formidable lap steel player. 2010's Koonyum Sun - recorded as trio Xavier Rudd and Izintaba - was a return to lighter shades. Featuring a new sound courtesy of a collaboration with bassist Tio Moloantoa and percussionist Andile Nqubezelo - yet abundant in the blues'n'roots charm of his earliest work - Koonyum Sun brought Xavier Rudd full circle.

Debuting at #2 on the ARIA charts, Xavier's 2012 album Spirit Bird was the triumphant pinnacle of his solo career to date – capturing the most beautiful aspects of his voice, his songs and his spirit. Led by the wonderfully delicate ‘Follow The Sun’, Spirit Bird saw Xavier Rudd yet again tour the world, bringing together old fans and new, regardless of their culture or country of origin. Inspired by the diversity he saw on his travels, for eighth studio album, 2015’s Nanna, Xavier formed the aptly named United Nations – a band of musicians from all corners of the earth, with a strong message of people coming together around the globe. This was the first time the renowned solo artist appeared in full band mode, adding another milestone to his already epic journey.

With a #1 iTunes single in the Netherlands and his music resonating throughout Europe like never before, Xavier embarked on a 28-date sold out tour in the European Summer of 2016. Playing a set list that read like a career retrospective over a solid two-hour show, he wowed audiences from the UK to the Netherlands with the energy and spirit he brought to the stage. Returning home with the recordings from these shows, there was a magic in them that felt like it needed to be shared with the world, and so a double live album took shape for release in early 2017.

Xavier Rudd’s diverse and acclaimed career is going from strength to strength, with his message of global togetherness, acceptance and respect as well as his dynamic musical connection gaining him over 700k combined online followers and further solidifying his place as one of Australia's greatest artists, activists and spirits.
Ash Grunwald
Ash Grunwald
When R L Burnside released the album 'Bothered Mind' in 2004, teaming up with hip hop producer Lyrics Born, he showed the world that the blues were not just meant to mutate into ankle-twisting rock n roll. The sound of the twelve-bar blues emerged in Africa, as did the beats that would give rise to hip hop and when Burnside combined the two, hundreds of years from their point of origin, it would be a marriage of fate, a beautiful partnership that simply made sense. ​

In Australia, at precisely the same moment, a gent of much younger persuasion surrounded naturally by the hip hop of his generation but as deeply embedded in the blues as those far beyond his years, made the very same discovery. What he proved with that parallel step all those years ago, was possession of a foresight generally gifted only to those many decades further along.​

Ash Grunwald put together his first album, 'Introducing Ash Grunwald', leaning heavily on traditional blues but it was his second album 'I Don’t Believe,' released in April of 2004, that would change his state of play. It was his first album – of many to come – to graft technology onto the deeply rooted foliage of the Delta swamp.​

On the back of his increasingly explosive and unique shows, he released a searing live album 'Live At The Corner;' “When I play live, it has that four on the floor, modern pulse that we get from electronic dance music,” he says. His next studio album in 2007, 'Give Signs', was even more adventurous, and he took his energetic live show to venues such as London’s renowned The Borderline and Shepherds Bush Empire, and opened for acts as diverse a James Brown, Bo Diddley, Keith Urban, Jack Johnson, Missy Higgins & Pete Muray.

In 2008, after collaborating at a song writing workshop with producer Countbounce (Urthboy, TZU), he and Grunwald teamed up to deliver an album of thumping beats and grooves mixed in with blues jams. The result, Fish Out Of Water, was a genre defying record. Although Grunwald had regularly placed beats in his music, it was often simply a mash-up of DIY electronic beats with his blues tracks placed on top. “I wanted to smash the two together really hard, so that you couldn’t tell which side started it first,” Countbounce says. “More of a soul hip-hop approach. The drums would be sampled. And the feel of a hip-hop rhythm section with his guitars on top.”

Blistering live sets on the festival circuit throughout Australia, Japan, Canada, America, Europe and the UK, have had critics and fans raving about his unique blend of roots, blues, beats and a whole lotta groove for now, more than a decade. Nominated five times for Australia’s ARIA Awards, and a swag of award wins including MBAS Blues Performer of the Year 2003 and the AIR Best Independent Blues and Roots Album, and in 2009, taking out a prestigious APRA songwriting award for Blues & Roots Song of the Year.​

His album of 2010, Hot Mama Vibes, was nominated for Best Blues & Roots album by both the Australian Record Industry Association and Australian Independent Record Label Association, and after a sold out national Australian tour, he capped off 2010 supporting Jack Johnson’s Australian tour. His first single from the album, ‘Walking’ received significant radio airplay, and was prominently featured in the Hollywood blockbuster, ‘Limitless’ starring Robert De Niro and Bradley Cooper.

In the two years since Hot Mama Vibes , Ash has made an exodus from the cold waters of Victoria to the sunnier shores of Northern NSW, he’s taken on NZ for the first time playing at Kaikoura Roots & WOMAD NZ, made his return to WOMADelaide, been on sold out tours in Canada (soon to return) and played a myriad of homeland festivals for good measure.​

His greatest achievement though has been the creation of his most internal album to date. Trouble’s Door found life in the fiery breath of injustice; the frustration of severe political and environmental mismanagement ‘It’s some of my most personal songwriting,’ Ash confesses. ‘I had just done a benefit gig to stop coal seam gas mining. There were other issues going on at the time, you can take your pick really, and it occurred to me that our system just doesn’t work. We are experiencing the result of rampant unchecked capitalism.’

The music traverses many a tale as well; the blues propelled by driving dancefloor rhythms, buoyed by hip hop beats and slammed by the dubstep crunch. Naturally.​

10 years since the release of that first blues record and hundreds of thousands of arses shaken since, Ash welcomes you as always to strive toward life’s greatest mission amongst the sadness and the challenges – the presence of good times and the possession of a happy heart.
Venue Information:
Union Transfer
1026 Spring Garden St.
Philadelphia, PA, 19123