Greg Vandy of The Roadhouse calls Rodriguez‘s the “Story of the Year.” In the early ’70s, Sixto Diaz Rodriguez recorded two albums — Cold Fact (1970) and Coming from Reality (1971), both of which saw limited sales and critical response at the time. Eventually, the label that put them out folded, and Rodriguez went on with his life of education, working construction, and social activism. During those years, his albums became more and more popular in South Africa and Australia, but Rodriguez himself was so far removed from music that he was unaware of his growing success and his fans thought he was dead! He made a brief appearance, touring Australia in the late ’70s but soon slipped back into obscurity. Occasional references were made to his song “Sugar Man” in this current decade in movies and mixtapes, but it wasn’t until 2008, when Seattle label Light in the Attic re-released Cold Fact (and subsequently Coming From Reality), that Rodriguez, now in his 60’s, has finally received the recognition in America that he deserves.
Recently, KEXP hosted a very special performance by Rodriguez at The Triple Door in Seattle as part of KEXP’s VIP Club concert series. We knew that many more people would be dying to see him perform, so we’ve captured several songs from the session on video for you here:
Check out photos from the session by Kyle Johnson here.