Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Rumor Has It - Rodriguez

He died of a heroin overdose
He burnt to death live on stage
He went to prison for murdering his wife
He blew his own head off - "Thank you for your time, and you can thank me for mine, after all thats said, forget it" Bang

For years rumors circled about what happened to Sixto, aka Jesus Rodriguez, aka Rodriguez. A lost legend of the 60's, he recorded his debut album The Cold Fact only to soon fade away following a serious of peculiar performances. His second album also sold unsuccessfully and the man slipped from peoples minds - or so we thought. Over the next 30 years the music and the legend of Rodriguez had grown and the man became a icon in places like South Africa, New Zealand and even here.

During his 23 year hiatus no one knew where to find Rodriguez, not even his record label. Eventually being tracked down by a journalist Sixto was unaware of the popularity and success of his music, having received no form of contact or any sight of royalties.

Performing at this years Bluesfest Rodriquez was a highly anticipated act that showcased rock, folk, blues and even Jazz. Standing center stage this shady character husked his poetic verse across the audience. With eyes covered by the brim of his black hat the legend was humble yet mesmerizing. Rodriguez's songs depicted tales of inner city blues, drug dealings and explore the struggles he encountered as a Mexican American living in Detroit. Described by some as prolific a poet Bob Dylan each song was written with a theme and a purpose.

Sundays performance was emotionally moving all the more so being familiar with the mans story. The only song I knew was Sugarman, an ode to his drug dealer.

"For a blue coin, won't you bring back,
all those colors to my dreams"

I was so blown away with this man's tale, his performance and his music that I am picking up his album tomorrow.


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