Rodriguez enjoys triumphant homecoming
A funny thing happens when you go from relative obscurity to musical sensation in the United States. And just what is that funny thing, you ask? Well, artists like The Dave Matthews Band start playing your songs (as they did back in December during a performance in South Africa). Just like that, everybody's been talking about Rodriguez.
Those tour dates you hopes to catch him on? There have been plenty of those for Rodriguez lately as well. He started out the year playing dates in the UK before moving on to France, Switzerland, Italy, Austria, Poland and Belgium. Most of those shows? Sold out. By May, he had come back around to North America to play Detroit's Masonic Temple. The triumphant homecoming only served to enchant the crowd as he opened the show with "Climb Up on My Music."
Many artists who are greeted by a long, loud standing ovation from thousands of fans don't always take the time to soak it in. Rodriguez certainly has, buoyed by new life from decades-old songs and spurred on by capacity crowds to play near two-hour sets. From the high notes on Lou Rawls' "Dead End Street" to his rendition of "I Only Have Eyes For You," Rodriguez seems to live in the moment on stage – as if he can't quite figure out all the improbable aspects of his Internet-fueled 'comeback' of 2013.
Perhaps Rodriguez should begin to market himself as the man who is "forgotten no more." He may still live in the same rundown neighborhood and play his old, out-of-tune guitar … but suddenly everyone seems to know the songs.
The rebirth of America's "hopelessly obscure" artist (Created May 1, 2013)
He's been called everything from a cult enigma to "hopelessly obscure" in the United States. Thus it begs the question – just who is Rodriguez? And why, after a career spanning some four decades, is the man's star suddenly on the rise?
Also known as Sixto Diaz Rodriguez or Jesus Rodriguez, this Mexican American folk musician based in Detroit, Michigan had an extremely short-lived early career. He reached no true form of commercial success in the 1970's, releasing two albums that failed to chart and sold very few copies. Yet at the same time his chances of stateside success turned sour, his work was becoming unusually successful in South Africa.
IN the 1990's, South African fans were directly response for the revival of Rodriguez's music career. (Oddly enough, this came years after rumors spread like wildfire that he had committed suicide during a concert in that country). Thanks to a fan website, he finally learned of his long-standing fame and eventually went on to play his very first South African tour. A documentary about the experience, "Dead Men Don't Tour," was later screened by the South African Broadcasting Corporation.
Fast forward to 2012, and the theatrical release of "Searching for Sugar Man." The release of this Swedish-British documentary in the US sparked fan interest like never before. He was featured on CNN and the highly-rated program "60 Minutes." Now, he's playing concerts in Australia, South Africa and New Zealand, along with a noted U.S. dates – including the Beacon Theatre in New York City and Coachella.
date city state venue 5/6/2012 Temecula CA Pechanga Entertainment Center 8/30/2012 Washington DC Sixth & I Synagogue 8/31/2012 New York NY Highline Ballroom 9/26/2012 San Diego CA The Casbah 9/28/2012 Los Angeles CA El Rey Theatre 9/29/2012 San Francisco CA Bimbo's 365 Club 10/11/2012 Vancouver BC Venue 10/13/2012 Portland OR Wonder Ballroom 10/21/2012 Austin TX Antone's 10/22/2012 Dallas TX House of Blues Dallas 10/23/2012 Houston TX House of Blues Houston 10/25/2012 Toronto ON Mod Club Theatre 10/28/2012 Philadelphia PA World Cafe Live 11/1/2012 Columbus OH Wexner Center for the Arts 11/1/2012 Columbus OH Mershon Auditorium 11/3/2012 Cleveland OH Beachland Ballroom 11/10/2012 Ponte Vedra Beach FL Ponte Vedra Concert Hall 11/17/2012 London London Royal Festival Hall 11/18/2012 London London Roundhouse 11/22/2012 Liverpool Lancashire Liverpool Philharmonic Hall 11/24/2012 Gateshead Edh Sage Gateshead 11/28/2012 Philadelphia PA World Cafe Live
date city state venue 7/15/2011 New York NY Roseland Ballroom
date city state venue 6/10/2010 New York NY Carnegie Hall - Stern Auditorium 7/14/2010 Lansing MI Adado Riverfront Park 9/13/2010 San Francisco CA Great American Music Hall 9/14/2010 West Hollywood CA The Troubadour 9/17/2010 New York NY Highline Ballroom 9/18/2010 Chicago IL Congress Theater