Born in Mexico but raised in Detroit, Sixto Rodriguez released two soulful folk-rock albums (musically not unlike Shuggie Otis or even Bill Withers) in the early '70s, filled with gritty tales of inner-city life, that barely created a ripple in the United States but became sizable hits in Australia and South Africa of all places. (He toured Australia with Midnight Oil in the early '80s.)

His cult status began to grow in America, finally, at the start of this decade, and last year Seattle label Light in the Attic did the first official reissues of Rodguigez's 1970 debut, Cold Fact. The reissue of 1971's Coming From Reality, just hit stores last week. There's an MP3 from each at the top of this post, and for more info, I highly recommend Fred Mills' article on the man over on Blurt. There's also a new Rodriguez Daytrotter session which is well worth downloading.

Rodriguez is currently on what is his biggest American tour in ages, with a stop at Bowery Ballroom this Friday (5/15) with The War On Drugs. His backing band for the East Coast dates are from Asheville, NC, and includes Obvlivians/Reigning Sound guitarist Greg Cartwright, as well as a horn section. West Coast backing duties will be handled by San Francisco's The Fresh & Onlys who played with Rodriguez last year, including a performance at Amoeba Records which there's video of below, along with tour dates...

Rodriguez - Live at Ameoba Records, San Francisco

Interview with Rodriguez

Rodriguez - 2009 Tour Dates
Wed, May 13 Rock and Roll Hotel Washington DC *
Thu, May 14 Johnny Brenda's Philadelphia PA *
Fri, May 15 Bowery Ballroom New York NY *
Mon, Jun 22 Richard's On Richards Cabaret Vancouver BC
Tue, Jun 23 The Triple Door Seattle WA
Wed, Jun 24 Doug Fir Lounge Portland OR
Fri, Jun 26 Slim's San Francisco CA
Sat, Jun 27 El Rey Theatre Los Angeles CA
Fri, May 29 Paradiso Amsterdam Netherlands
Sat, May 30 Whelans Dublin Ireland
Mon, Jun 1 Nouveau Casino Paris France
Wed, Jun 3 Circolo Degli Artisti Rome Italy
Sat, Jun 6 Barbican London UK
Sun, Jul 12 Les Ardentes Festival Liege Belgium

* w/ The War on Drugs

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