Friday, August 29, 2008
Deciding to venture into the world of discovering music I had to take a deep breath and realize that I will always be overwhelmed by how much there is out there to appreciate, learn about and enjoy. It took me a long time before I could even start writing about music because I figured people would always know about what had just come across for the first time ages before I did. Rodriguez is one of those treasured artists that I should know about but unfortunately did not until today. He has an incredibly interesting story which might explain for why I have never heard about him before. Born Sixto Diaz Rodriguez in 1942 to Mexican immigrant parents who had relocated to Detroit. His debut and hit album, Cold Fact was recorded in 1969 and released in the March of 1970. Recording the sad times of life within one of America's most stifled economic cities ravaged with riots, lay-offs and crime Rodriguez fed off of this cultural devastation and painted a portrait of the struggling working class and the emotional downfall left in poverty's wake. His is a different path of Dylan theology and often receives comparisons to our beloved poet and patriot. The most stunning bit of his story has yet to come,
But the album sank without a trace, thanks, in part, to some of Rodriguez's more idiosyncratic behavior, like performing at an industry showcase with his back to the audience throughout. Cold Fact producer Mike Theodore remembers how he would only play at "hooker bars, inner city dives, and biker bars." When the follow-up, 1972's Coming From Reality, also tanked, Rodriguez called an end to his recording career. He'd never even played a proper gig. And he got on with life. Over the years, he turned his hand to local politics, philosophy, a job in a petrol station and, eventually, hard labor.
Read the rest of it here. For those of you interested he is playing a show at Joe's Pub on Wednesday, September 3rd at 930 PM and it is not sold out. I am beyond excited to continue my exploration.
Rodriguez-Inner city Blues.mp3