Detroit music has always been broken up into eras, and each era has brought us some amazing music. DETROIT by DETROIT is an annual event that lets current Detroit bands cover other Detroit bands…bands that are current – or from some of these past eras. This year’s DETROIT by DETROIT showcase will take place at the Magic Stick on Saturday, February 22nd, at 8pm. What can you expect? Fifteen local bands will be alternating between two different stages and performing 3-song sets…by other Detroit acts.
This will be my second year participating in this event, and I couldn’t be happier. Last year, I teamed up with my good friend Omar Aragones to cover Mayer Hawthorne. Omar and I decided to do something a bit different this year; we plan on covering Detroit artist Sixto Rodriguez.
Here’s a little background on this tremendous Detroit artist. The story goes…back in 1970, Sixto Rodriguez put out a record called Cold Fact, a record which was planned to secure his spot as one of the greatest recording artists of his time. As it turned out, however, the album did not reach the level of success that was expected, and Rodriguez disappeared…
Though Rodriguez himself was seemingly absent, his music remained present. Somehow, bootleg recordings of Rodriguez’s record made their way to South Africa, and over the course of many years, his music and story became a phenomenon.
Within all the buzz and attention about this talented artist, rumors surfaced that Rodriguez committed suicide. Two South African fans set out to find out what really happened to their hero, and their search led them to discover that Rodriguez was, in fact, still alive…and still living in Detroit.
In 2012, the world was (re)introduced to Sixto Rodriguez in the highly-acclaimed, award-winning documentary Searching for Sugar Man.
It’s crazy to think about, really – rumors were swirling (and the treasure hunt was at full-speed for this local treasure) – and all along, he was living, very humbly, just blocks away from me in Midtown Detroit.
Picking Rodriguez for this year’s DETROIT by DETROIT event was so natural for us. Besides his inspiring story, his sound is the perfect mix of rock, folk, and soul. Plus, his records are raw and never overproduced, which is a perfect fit for the type of music Omar and I love to perform.
To find out more about Rodriguez, I highly recommend you watch Searching for Sugar Man – and check out his record, Cold Fact.
Oh, and to hear some Rodriguez tunes live? Come to the Magic Stick on Saturday night. Omar and I will be taking the stage with a 3-song set to keep Rodriguez’s legacy alive.