LIVE: Rodriguez @ Sixth & I - 8/30/12

Septuagenarian Sixto Diaz Rodriguez  - or just Rodriguez to his fans –  held tightly to 9:30 staffer Josh “That Guy” Burdette’s arm as he shuffled down the aisle towards the stage at a sold out Sixth & I last Thursday. Moving slowly toward a solitary microphone, slightly hunched over and clearly frail, the singer took a sip of water and offered a polite “hello” to the excited and restless crowd. It’s not so much that the years haven’t been kind to Rodriguez as it is that he has very clearly lived them.

But a funny thing happened as Rodriguez slung his guitar over his shoulder and began to tune up; with his face mostly hidden by a black, large brimmed hat, those lines could be seen tightening into a boyish grin that belonged not to an aging folk “hero,” but to that of young, idealistic hippy folkster picking up right where he left off some 30 years prior.

TO Do List: Rodriguez at 6th & I TONIGHT!

In a story whose weirdness rivals that of site favorite Jim Sullivan, Sixto Diaz Rodriguez, or simply Rodriguez to his fans. Despite widespread critical acclaim, Cold Fact, Rodriguez’s 1970 release didn’t manage to achieve much commercial success and the soulful Michigan songwriter quickly faded off into obscurity.  And then things got weird.

As chronicled in the film Searching For Sugarman, in select theaters now,  Rodriguez’s music lived on despite the numerous and sometimes grisly reports of his demise. Cold Fact became a rallying cry in the youth of South Africa’s fight against apartheid, and twenty years after the fact Rodriguez found that he had achieved international fame. More importantly his songs had achieved the social relevance that he had always hoped for.

Touring in support of the soundtrack to Sugarman, Rodriguez lands in DC tonight at the historic synagogue at 6th and I. The event is sold out, but if you can manage to hunt a ticket down, it might be in your best interest. We caught a glimpse of Rodriguez’s set back in July at the Newport Folk Festival, and all we have to say about that is “whoa.” Check out the trailer for Searching For Sugarman below, and we’ll see you (hopefully) at the show tonight!

The soundtrack for Searching For Sugarman, as well as Rodriguez's other albums, are available to buy everywhere, or stream via Rdio or Spotify right NOW. Shotimes of the film can be found via the link below. 

Episode 12: Hobbit Soul

In which the gang tells tales of last months FIREFLY festival, Aubrey is pushed to her limit and (not so) politely asks that people get off her lawn, and Kevin pulls musical references out of thing air that confuse/shame even himself. PLUS!!! Discussions of new music from JEFF the Brotherhood, Passion Pit, Rodriguez and the debut album from singer/songwriter FRANK OCEAN!!!

2012 Newport Folk Festival Preview: DAY 2

If you were at the festival yesterday you know that bigger and better didn't even begin to cover it. The evening may have ended in a deluge, but nothing could wash away the feeling of awesome overload that was Saturday at the Newport Folk Festival. And today is going to be even bigger!

But while you're racing from tent to tent to check out all the bands you know and love, we ask once again, that you think of the little guy. Some of the very BEST performances yesterday took place at the Harbor Stage and the adjacent Museum stage,we've reason to believe that's going to hold true today - here's a few reasons why. 




So you say you like that sweet sweet “Laurel Canyon Sound?”  If you do (and you are heading to the Newport Folk Festival so it’s a pretty safe bet), be sure not to miss Jonathan Wilson.  A musical “jack of all trades,” Mr. Wilson is equally renowned for his skills behind the glass as he is for his talents on a variety of stringed instruments.  He is also an advocate of “back to basics” songcraft and a scholar of the original Laurel Canyon scene.  As such, it was no surprise when the North Carolina native chose to relocate to the Canyon itself to record his debut double LP, Gentle Spirit.

Gentle Spirit was recorded over a lengthy period over time, taking shape between the myriad production gigs, jam sessions, and live shows that made up life in the Canyon.  As a result of this process, the album evokes a clear sense of place, its meandering rhythms echoing the character of the recording space and Mr. Wilson’s mindset.  Indeed, Gentle Spirit calls to mind the sound of the fabled artists of the Canyon’s past while carving out a unique niche for Mr. Wilson among the new practitioners of this classic style.  So sit back on the grass and let Jonathan Wilson transport you from the sweltering shores of the Atlantic to the cool embrace of the Canyon.