Rodriguez: Coming From Reality (Light In The Attic, 2009)
Sixto Rodriguez is an american folk musician who made two studio albums in the early seventies. The debut Cold Fact was released in 1970 on Sussex Records and this Coming From Reality a year later on the same label. Neither sold much which is again a crime against good music. Thankfully both of these have now been reissued by Light In The Attic and hopefully more people will find these jewels this time (I’ve learned that he is big in South Africa though, but the rest of the world should follow). At least these reissues have done the trick in my case. I didn’t know him before the amazing Shindig! magazine introduced him and his albums to me. I still haven’t heard Cold Fact, but it’s definitely on my shopping list after spending some quality time in the arms of this wonderful second album (if you want to know the reason why I choose to start with this one, it’s just that I liked this cover art more. That’s how much I know about music and how I make the selection of what to buy).
This is lyrically powerful folk music that also has a pop sensibility. Rodriguez is a great storyteller and his poetic lyrics are a big part of the charm and keeps my interest high even during those 2-3 songs that aren’t that appealing to me melodically. Usually there’s no need for the lyrics to carry the songs through. Usually the composition and the lyrical side are both equally wonderful and together they create a little bit of magic in form of a thoughtprovoking folk tale or a sensitive pop song. Coming From Reality is a great album full of stunning songs like I Think Of You, Halfway Up The Stairs, Sandrevan Lullaby-Lifestyles and To Whom It May Concern. Now I need to go and buy the debut.