Steve Louw and his band Big Sky toured with Rodriguez in South Africa 1998.

Photo Credit: Jacqui van Staden
Photo Credit: Jacqui van Staden

“Thunder and Rain” single

The geography of where I was coming from crept into the music; fire, wind and rain – Steve Louw

NEW YORK, NY – Veteran South African rocker Steve Louw announces his sophomore solo release Thunder and Rain, available November 11, 2022 through BFD / The Orchard, with the release of the first single and title track today. The album was produced by Kevin Shirley (John Hiatt, Robert Cray Band, the Black Crowes) and features contributions from guitar wizards Joe Bonamassa, and Doug Lancio.

Thunder and Rain follows hot on the heels of Headlight Dreams the 2021 album that found Steve Louw returning to active duty after a thirteen-year absence. After this prolonged period away from the spotlight, Louw discovered an audience who was eager to hear new music from the singer/songwriter: Headlight Dreams received strong reviews and earned a nomination for Best Rock Album from the South African Music Awards in 2022. 

On the album’s opening title track, “Thunder and Rain,” it’s possible to hear and feel bad weather creep in over the horizon. “The world is navigating through a fraught time, economically and politically,” explains Louw. “The geography of where I was coming from crept into the music; fire, wind and rain.” Those elements also creep into the video created by Jacqui van Staden.

While it’s an ominous beginning to the album, waiting for light to emerge after darkness is a thematic undercurrent on Thunder and Rain, a record where Louw balances these opposing impulses with strength and compassion. He may open the record with a sense of foreboding—a feeling that resonates strongly in 2022, as the world picks up the pieces left after a global pandemic—yet he doesn’t dwell in the darkness. 

“It’s about love,” Louw explains of the album, “we’re born with love, we’ll leave with love, and it heals along the way.”

Louw celebrates the restorative, nourishing love on “Mother, Don’t Go,” an insightful, insistent tune graced by guitar wizard Joe Banamassa, who brings out the song’s incandescent spirit as he intertwines his playing with that of Doug Lancio, a guitarist who has just entered Louw’s orbit. The album winds its way through “The Road Fades from Sight,” a ballad built upon the soul-sustaining power of longtime love, then reaches the finish line with “I’m Coming Home,” an invigorating conclusion that leaves no doubt there’s room for optimism in these troubled times. By finding space for this full range of emotion, Thunder and Rain operates on a refreshingly human scale, emphasizing deep emotions and interpersonal interactions—it’s music that’s meant to be felt as much as heard. 

ABOUT STEVE LOUW: South African musician Steve Louw’s career began with his first band All Night Radio who released two records including 1986’s The Killing Floor, the album where he first collaborated with Kevin Shirley. Louw came to stardom as the leader of Big Sky, a group who put out their first album, Waiting for the Dawn, in 1990. During their time together, Big Sky released five albums, a discography highlighted by 1995’s acclaimed Horizon. The band earned accolades from the industry, including winning the FNB Music Award for Best SA Rock Act in 1996. At the end of their run as a band, Big Sky was the opening act for Rodriguez on his valedictory tour of South Africa, a journey captured in the 2012 Oscar-winning documentary Searching for Sugar Man. The tour raised Louw’s international profile, leading to his collaboration with Queen’s Brian May and Eurythmics’ Dave Stewart on “Amandla,” a song on 2003’s Nelson Mandela-inspired AIDS awareness project 46664

Following the release of Big Sky’s Trancas Canyon in 2008, Louw retreated from the spotlight. He broke his silence with his solo debut Headlight Dreams, a rousing comeback delivered in 2021. Thunder and Rain, his sophomore release, will be available November 11, 2022.



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Steve Louw: Thunder And Rain – New Single Out Now!

Steve Louw and his band Big Sky supported Rodriguez on his 1998 South African Tour.

Steve Louw: Thunder And Rain – New Single Out Now
The geography of where I was coming from crept into the music; fire, wind and rain – Steve Louw

The world is navigating through a fraught time, economically and politically. Democracy is a deal between the people and the people in power, and that contract is under threat. Outraged but impotent, we consider our choices.

Written from the point of view of what we face in the aftermath of the last two years, the character in the song walks the line between right and wrong, unsure where that line is drawn and the consequences of following a moral imperative.

We are all making our way and, on our journey, trying to surpass the physical and spiritual roadblocks we encounter with grace and love for ourselves and our fellow travellers.

Steve Louw, September 2022

Thunder And Rain

Standing, waiting for the lights to change
Yeah, I’m filled with rage
Choppers are beating down
Broken signs blowing across the ground.

Thunder and rain in our town
I can’t understand the pain in our town.

A burning match lights a cigarette
This flame won’t catch the fight that’s in my head
In the window of a black and white
My face reflected in the burning night.

Thunder and rain coming down
I can’t understand the pain in our town.

Where I was raised, we knew no hate
An open door and an unlocked gate
Tried to live by the law
I don’t know ‘bout that anymore
I never crossed the line
One that’s always been in my mind
I’ve given truth to lies
I see it written in my eyes.

Thunder and rain coming down
I can’t understand the pain in our town.

In a concrete room under the ground
This was all sent coming down
The lights go out on a man who hates
The book he holds, holds his fate.

Thunder and rain coming down
I can’t understand the pain right now.

We’re all born, we all bleed
We’ve all been torn, we’re all in need
We all live, we all die
We all wanna get high.

Thunder, rain coming down
Can’t understand the pain right now.

Rodriguez song used in new TV show’s soundtrack

The Resort
The Resort

We are always interested to hear about Rodriguez songs popping up in the soundtracks for new films and TV series. So, for those who have been watching the excellent new series called ‘The Resort’, you would have spotted a song by Rodriguez being used in Season 1 Episode 4 of this series called “A History of Forgetting”

The plot of this new series is briefly but accurately described on as “Exploring love and the weird things we do in the name of it, encased in an elaborate true-crime conspiracy”.

And the music used in this series is a varied and eclectic selection of songs including the Rodriguez song ‘Forget It’ off his ‘Cold Fact’ album.

Rodriguez – Forget It

You can find all the music used in the first season of ‘The Resort’ here:

Long Live Your Gorgeous Music

I will try & keep this brief…

Basically I’ve been to South Africa 5 times & I adore your music! I can attest it’s still playing all over there in only the ‘cool joints’ & I was lucky enough to see you in London in 2016. Hope you are well (even though I guess a PA will read this) & long live your gorgeous music!!!

Much Love,


Looking For An Autograph

Hello, I am a big fan and would love to get Sixto Rodriguez’s autograph. I can donate to a charitable organization on his behalf (or send money to him/you). I am from Canada and never had to opportunity to see him play in person and love the Sugar Man documentary. Thank you very much.

Toronto, Ontario

Stephen “Sugar” Segerman: My hunt for Rodriguez, a missing music legend | BBC

(Photo: Rodriguez performing on stage. Credit: Elena Di Vincenzo/Archivio Elena di Vincenzo/Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Images)
(Photo: Rodriguez performing on stage. Credit: Elena Di Vincenzo/Archivio Elena di Vincenzo/Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Images)

One South African superfan’s quest to unravel the truth about his favourite artist


Released On: 01 Sep 2022, available for over a year

Stephen ‘Sugar’ Segerman’s nickname came from the song Sugar Man by the American singer Rodriguez. In 1970s South Africa, Rodriguez was a household name as his anti-establishment lyrics resonated with many of those opposed to the strict apartheid state. Sugar, a Cape Town record shop owner, was one of his adoring fans. Very little was known about Rodriguez, apart from that he was dead; rumour had it that he’d killed himself during an unsuccessful concert. But years later, when Sugar decided to find out that had happened to him, he uncovered something astonishing.

Presenter: Emily Webb
Producer: Emily Webb and Emily Naylor

Listen to The Rodriguez Story on BBC World Service


The BBC World Service will be broadcasting a new program about the whole Sixto Rodriguez Story on Thursday September 1st. The program will be broadcast at the following (UK) times: 12:06pm, 18:06, and 22:06.

BBC World Service is always available to listen to online, via iPlayer Radio on your computer and mobile phone – simply visit on your phone’s internet browser. Please use the iPlayer Radio help pages to find out more or if you are having any problems listening.

55 Years Ago This Month: I’ll Slip Away by Rod Riguez

Rod Riguez – I'll Slip Away
Rod Riguez – I’ll Slip Away, 1967 | Discogs
Rod Riguez – I’ll Slip Away, 1967

I’ll Slip Away, produced by Harry Balk, was released as a single by Impact Records in the USA in August 1967. It was credited to Rod Riguez. This track was re-recorded in Detroit in 1972. The b-side was You Got To Admit It.

And you can keep your symbols of success
Then I’ll pursue my own happiness
And you can keep your clocks and routines
Then I’ll go mend all my shattered dreams

Rod Riguez, August 1967

Rod Riguez could make a name for himself with this bluesy, mid-tempo rock ballad. Keep it in sight.

Cashbox, 23 September 1967

The 1967 single features more upfront Byrds-type jangly guitar, vocal harmonies and a subdued organ in the background, when compared to the early ’70s version. The strings that are so prominent on the later version are absent on the 1967 version.

Brian Currin

I’ll Slip Away

And I’ll forget about the girl that said no
Then I’ll tell who I want where to go
And I’ll forget about your lies and deceit
And your attempts to be so discreet

Maybe today, yeah
I’ll slip away

And you can keep your symbols of success
Then I’ll pursue my own happiness
And you can keep your clocks and routines
Then I’ll go mend all my shattered dreams

Maybe today, yeah
I’ll slip away

Cause you’ve been down on me for too long
And for too long I just put you on
Now I’m tired of lying and I’m sick of trying
Cause I’m losing who I really am
And I’m not choosing to be like them

And if you get bored or got loneliness
Or it’s dislike for me you express
I won’t care if you’re right or you’re wrong
I won’t care cause you see I’ll be gone

Maybe today, yeah
I’ll slip away

Maybe today, yeah
Maybe today, yeah
Maybe today, yeah girl

Read more

Rodriguez on Fan’s Bucket List

I’m at a point in my life right now that I am making a bucket list of things that I would like to do before it’s too late. One of the items on my bucket list is to see Rodriguez live in concert, or at least meet him and hear him play at least a few chosen tunes. I love everything I know about this amazing man. I do not see any tour dates on your website nor do I find any on the research I’ve done on my own. I have several questions? Is he available for private private parties? Does he play local gigs? Is it worth it to just travel to New York and hoping to see him or is it possible to arrange a meeting. I’m looking for any help that you may be able to give me. I have been beyond impressed by this musical genius ever since someone suggested that I see his documentary, Searching For Sugar Man. Please send any and all info. All help is appreciated.


Brigid McDaniel

In the US, most people still don’t have a clue about [Rodriguez]

Just thought I would send a quick note. I am sitting here listening to some Sixto. If not for the movie which I saw in Kuwait in 2016, I doubt I would have ever heard any of his music. In the US, most people still don’t have a clue about him. But I crank his music when I can and always hear the same thing “Who is that?” I smile with glee and so the story telling begins……..

Al Dunaway

A massive thank you to Rodriguez

I would just like to say a massive thank you to Rodriguez for (in my opinion) the best tracks ever created!! You are a true legend! I am sooooo pleased to hear that you are finally getting the royalties you so deserve! However, I understand that material things are not top of your list, which makes you all the more admirable. I will continue throughout my life to listen to your great inspirations and send you lots of love. Thank you for the music and the most wonderful riff ever produced!

Zena Deakin. Farnham, Surrey, UK. XX

One Morning in Gurgaon now available on vinyl | Guy Buttery

One Morning in Gurgaon
One Morning in Gurgaon

Straight after returning home from my nationwide South African tour with Mohd. Amjad Khan and Mudassir Khan, the long awaited vinyl release of our album “One Morning in Gurgaon” arrived at my door.

After many a moon, I am super happy to announce this vinyl edition. This super limited run LP was selected as part of a specially curated series with Japanese company (Qrates) and they look and sound next level. This pressing has been specifically remastered for vinyl and includes two exclusive and unreleased bonus tracks for download which are not available anywhere else.

There are extremely limited stocks available I’m afraid so dive at it before they all run away to their new homes. Hit up the link to nab one right about here.

Much love guys!

One Morning in Gurgaon
One Morning in Gurgaon


A spontaneous dream. A compendium of enrapturing sonic stories.” PopMatters

Dexterous, defiant and delicate all at once.”Texx and The City

magically spirits you away to this land of enduring mystery and majesty.”The Herald

these masterly improvisations weave from strands of several musical traditions a rich tapestry that is downright mesmerizing.” – Minor7th

Wonderful Irish Cover Version Of A Rodriguez Song By Gerry Arias

Gerry Arias

Gerry Arias is a well-known Irish musician who has been active in that industry for a long time. He has  also become a big fan of Sixto Rodriguez ever since he saw the film ‘Searching For Sugar Man’ and has been very influenced by that story, and Rodriguez’s music, ever since. So, Gerry recently decided to record a cover version of the Rodriguez song ‘Jane S. Piddy’, off the album ‘Cold Fact’.

However, Gerry’s interpretation of this Rodriguez’s tune is called ‘Jane S. Paddy’!

This artistic liberty was taken in honour of the “Irish” twist to the song. Gerry’s version is done in a 6/8 Irish gig rhythm with an airy vocal. Both the song and video were recorded on the west coast of Ireland and features Brian Flemming on Bodhran, and Quentin Cowper on guitar.

You can see this excellent video for ‘Jane S. Paddy’ by Gerry Arias here:

And here’s the song on Bandcamp:

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