Times 1st August 2004
Rodriguez startles SA tribute band
by Bobby Jordan
A LITTLE-known local band who perform "Rodriguez" shows - in tribute to the mysterious US folk music legend - got the surprise of their lives this week when the man himself arrived at one of their shows outside Knysna.
Better still, Rodriguez has invited the band to join him on a surprise South African tour.
The band, Garden Root, have already practised with Rodriguez - full name Sixto Rodriguez - near Wilderness on the Cape south coast, where the 62-year-old singer is visiting his daughter and new South African grandson.
Rodriguez plans to perform in Knysna, Mossel Bay and Cape Town.
"I'm supporting the musicians who support me, but they're doing it better than me," said the soft- spoken singer.
Rodriguez, famous in South Africa for hits such as Sugar Man and I Wonder, leads a reclusive life in the US, where for years his music was virtually unknown. South African fans thought him dead, but he was rediscovered six years ago and invited to tour South Africa, where he has a massive following.
His daughter Eva later married a Cape Town builder and settled outside Wilderness.
Rodriguez said: " I hope to play to South Africans, and also to communicate to America what it sounds like on this side of the globe. I feel like Marco Polo, man."
Garden Root lead singer Jono Lumley said: "Meeting the icon of my musical career - it's just incredible. He even called me 'sir'."
-- Bobby Jordan
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Read about a surprise visit by Rodriguez to Mabu Vinyl in Cape Town on the 30th July 2004 here »»