Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. Today’s featured selection, is “Climb Up On My Music” by Rodriguez from the 2009 reissue of his 1971 release Coming From Reality available through Light In The Attic.
By now, the story of Detroit-born Sixto Rodriguez and his thirty-year disappearance from the music scene is well known, at least to a lucky few. Signed to Sussex Records in the late 1960s, Rodriguez brought a sort psych-folk take on Bob Dylan, mishmashed with the vibes and horns of his native Motown. After little to no success with both of his releases (Cold Fact and Coming From Reality), Rodriguez disappeared. For years, rumors circulated about his disappearance: was he dead? had he gone off the deep end? had he disappeared in to the wild? Nobody knew, and in his absence, Rodriguez’s music begin to fade from memory… at least in America. In South Africa, the music caught on with the youth and the soldiers. Rodriguez’s lyrics and voice rang true to their trials and tribulations. For 30 years though, that was it; only South Africa and a handful of in-the-know crate diggers knew of the artist. In America, it was as if he didn’t exist, until Light In The Attic unearthed his debut album, Cold Fact, last year. Now, the sixty-something artist is touring again, with the likes of The War on Drugs, Animal Collective and Pink Mountaintops, and garnering a sort of indie following where before there was none. “Climb Up On My Music” is a breezy, twangy, guitar jam backed by an insistent crash of the cymbals and a line of blazing guitar that’ll perk your ears. In typical Sixto Rodriguez fashion, the lyrics speak of the inequalities of life and the gentle salve music becomes to it.
Currently, Rodriguez is performing in Europe, but he’ll be hitting the Northwest at the end of June and playing The Triple Door on Tuesday, June 23. You don’t want to miss it! As proof, here’s Rodriguez playing “Can’t Get Away” with The Fresh and Onlys at Amoeba last year: