Music Review: Cold Fact

First released in 1970, this album should spark a rediscovery of Detroit native Sixto Diaz Rodriguez.


First released in 1970, this debut by Detroit native Sixto Diaz Rodriguez was ignored in the States, yet became a bootleg hit in South Africa, of all places. The still-engaging curio reflects the melting-pot vibe of late-’60s pop, effortlessly mixing blues, funk, psychedelia, and folk. Rodriguez is a quietly gripping presence who blends social commentary (“I wonder, will this hatred ever end?”) and freaky musings (“The wind was slowly melting”) in a somber voice that suggests a cross between Bob Dylan and José Feliciano. The sleepy “Sugar Man” might be the most seductive ode to a drug dealer ever. Over the last decade, Rodriguez has reemerged from obscurity to perform live in Africa and Europe; this album should spark his overdue rediscovery here at home.

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  • Jon Young is a contributing writer for Mother Jones. For more of his stories, click here.