“Sugarman” Resurrected: Rodriguez Appears Tonight | Oregon Music News

From Oregon Music News

The resurrection of Rodriguez, the enigmatic singer-songwriter whose rediscovery is at the heart of the astounding Searching for Sugarman film, continues tonight at the Wonder Ballroom. His blend of biting lyrics and folk-rock songcraft cut in the 1970s disappeared in the United States but made him a hero to the middle-class anti-apartheid movement in South Africa in the 70s and 80s. The “60 Minutes” show last Sunday recounted rock’s most unlikely Cinderella story.

In concert recently in Washington, D.C. in the intimate setting of a synagogue chapel, Rodriguez was in some ways welcomed as a guru as much as a musician. He has an undeniable presence akin to a Zen adept appearing in the guise of a rock musician, radiating calm and the humble acceptance of his strange new status as a prophet finally honored in his own land.  He playfully adopts this new role in his stage patter, mixing a few corny jokes with philosophical advice: “Do you know what the secret to life is?” Rodriguez asked. “Just keep breathing in and out.”

The music, if you haven’t heard it before, doesn’t merit the Dylan comparisons that are so commonly applied to him, but it is still moving and powerful work, if performed in a sometimes sloppy manner in concert that made little difference in how it was received. But it still works:


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