Monday, February 18, 2013

"Sugar Man" Rodriguez comes to Straz Center

Rodriguez is back from obscurity
It was one of the most fascinating music stories ever. Sixto Rodriguez, who recorded under the name Rodriguez (and at one point even Rod Riguez) made a couple of folk-ish albums back in the ‘60s that no one paid attention to. He gave up on music and went back to blue-collar obscurity.

Decades later he found out his music was hugely popular in South Africa, and he was something of counter-culture hero there. Rumors, perhaps spawned by the apartheid-era government, led people to believe Rodriguez had killed himself.

Some documentary filmmakers found out that Rodriguez was alive in Detroit. Their  2012 film “Searching for Sugar Man” brought Rodriguez back into the music biz, and now he’s coming to West Central Florida for the first time with a just-announced May 9 concert at the Straz Center in Tampa.

His music is intelligent, very much of its era and extremely pleasing, and he has an absolutely gorgeous voice. But frankly it’s hard to see why he’s been so revered in one particular country.

Details: 8 p.m. May 9 at the Straz Center’s Ferguson Hall. Tickets: $35.50 and up. Information: 813-229-7827 or Marty Clear

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