Any time the near-legendary elder statesman of British folk makes a Chicago appearance, it’s an essential event.
(Old Town School of Folk Music)
The Michigan-born singer-songwriter had to wait decades to become an institution, and you can hear the travails and transcendence of her journey in that unmatchable, unmistakable voice.
The Detroit singer-songwriter languished in obscurity until the 2012 documentary “Searching for Sugarman” revealed Rodriguez was bigger than Elvis in South Africa. He’s ridden a resurrection wave ever since.
Former Smith Westerns members and Chicago hometown heroes Julien Ehrlich and Max Kakacek tour their shimmering debut album, “Forever Turned Around.”
The Chicago singer conquers genres—including jazz, soul, funk and R&B—with the kind of silken tones and easy self-assurance that recall legends, while remaining tantalizingly her own.
Robert Rodi is an author, spoken-word performer and musician who has served as Newcity’s Music Editor since 2014. He’s written more than a dozen books, including the travel memoir “Seven Seasons In Siena.” His jazz quintet recently completed a two-year residency at Uncommon Ground, and he regularly hosts a jazz singers’ jam at Lizard’s Liquid Lounge. His literary and music criticism has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Tribune, Salon, The Huffington Post and many other national and regional publications.