Call it the second coming of Sixto Rodríguez…
The 70-year-old Mexican-American singer/songwriter, the man at the center of Malik Bendjelloul‘s Oscar-nominated documentary Searching for Sugar Man, has lined up festival dates lined up at Coachella, Glastonbury and Primavera in Spain that will follow tours of South Africa and Australia.
The new dates are part of Rodriguez’s astonishing rediscovery after releasing two albums for Clarence Avant‘s Sussex label in the early 1970s that didn’t sell anywhere except in South Africa where his legend grew along with his record sales.
Bendjelloul’s documentary, which will be released on DVD on January 22, chronicles the myths and realities of Rodriguez’s story and his 1998 concerts in South Africa.
“It’s a different level that we’re at now,” Rodriguez said during a recent visit to Los Angeles to perform on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. “I can’t imagine it getting much busier. This is pretty busy. You gotta stay balanced and normalized, pace yourself. At this late date I have a new perspective on things because of the success of the music now.”
The demand for Rodriguez has picked up dramatically in the last year for Rodriguez, who had done a few club performances per year since 2008 when Light in the Attic re-released his two albums, Cold Facts and Coming From Reality. Rodriguez appeared at film festivals like Sundance and SXSW in early 2012 and performed solo at most of his shows. He has been using various bands to back him since moving up to larger clubs and small theaters in the fall.
“We did 13 dates in the UK, all 3,000-seaters, and when we go back it will be Royal Albert Hall,” Rodriguez says.
60 Minutes, which did a piece on Rodriguez prior to the film opening, has contacted him again about possibly chronicling his tour of South Africa in February.
Besides the Oscar nomination, Searching for Sugar Man is up for BAFTA, Producers Guild and WGA awards. It won the International Documentary Association‘s best feature and best music awards and the National Board of Review named it the best documentary of the season.