San Francisco, CA
May 27, 2014
Rodriguez: Sugarman Found
Almost everything about Rodriguez is unique. His lifestory is so unusual and compelling that it became an Academy Award winning documentary called Searching forSugarman. If you haven’t seen the film, you are missing out. It’s an incredible, heartwarming story about the rediscovery of a 70s folksinger abandoned to the Could-Have-Been pile of history and his unknown fame in South Africa. And it couldn’t have happened to a warmer, more generous or more genuine person. Seeing Rodriguez perform live was a special experience, not only because I felt I was witnessing part of his unusual history, but even moreso because his talent really holds up without the Silver Screen treatment. While many of his recordings sound dated now, they really came alive with his young bandmates. There are obvious and striking comparisons that can be made with
|Photo by Jana L.|
(midcareer) Bob Dylan. At times, Rodriguez sounded like Dylan’s long-lost brother, perhaps separated at birth - though Rodriguez does sing better. Rodriguez did look visibly frail at times. He moved slowly and appeared to have significant vision problems but all that disappeared once he started singing. His voice was strong and energetic. Crowd favorites, like I Wonder and Sugarman, were given upbeat rearrangements and Rodriguez really seemed to enjoy himself. He also exhibited a wry sense of lefty humor throughout the evening. A special night.