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David Rodriguez - The Lonesome Drover

The Lonesome Drover

David Rodriguez

Noose Records N101

A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
by Mois Benarroch

Rodriguez released his first CD The True Cross in 1992 in the Dejadisc label, after releasing two cassettes. The same year Brambus records in Switzerland released a similar CD titled Landing 92 which included some extra tracks, mainly the now classic and prophetic Days of Constant War. From the start Rodriguez was a self made musician with a unique voice and a clear view of the world.

Reviewers raved about his CD and he was voted Best Texas Songwriter for three consecutive years beginning in 1992. Not an easy thing in a state that has as many songwriters as cars, and more great singer-songwriters than the whole rest of the U.S.A. Rodriguez had left a career politics and law to dedicate himself to music, and his songs have always been political/social songs in the broader sense of the word. In a way he never left the protest movement of the sixties, and his lyrics connect directly to the works of Phil Ochs, Pete Seeger and Woody Guthrie.

Most of his CDs are now out of print and obviously every year he earns more followers since his out of print cd's sell for $50 and more on Ebay. Since his first recorded note he has not done one false move and all his CDs are highly recommended. This is the best that Austin songwriting has to offer. Most of his CDs were and are released in European labels, and that's where he now lives, in Holland.

Lonesome Drover is his eighth studio release. He has also released in 2007 a live CD, A Winter Moon, reviewed also in this site. A Winter Moon includes the song Ballad Of The Snow Leopard And The Tanqueray Cowboy, that first appeared on Man Against Beast. The song also appeared on the soundtrack to the Lawrence Kasdan movie Mumford.

The CD has roughly half of the songs played with a full band, and the other half with Rodriguez playing along with his guitar; the instruments include drums, bass, acoustic guitar, electric guitar and sometimes an organ. It's basic folk, although there are rock elements and even some reggae rhythm in Perfect Love. The overall feeling is acoustic.

This CD marks Rodriguez European journey, and the fact that he is now part of the old world, the CD starts with Visions Of Europa, and although the second song is titled Cuba Libre, he sings about Holland, Belgium and Prague, songs of love, protest and poverty.

In Song For Prague he sings:

There by the stand
Selling cheap beauty
Cigarette in her hand
No rights, no duties
Laughing at time
A young girl with no place to go

A few glasses of wine,
A joint or two, maybe
Days fly by like news
On the TV
How can you live
When you're hurtin'
And pretend that you don't?"

While record labels are searching for the next pretty face that will write some songs and label them as the next David Gray, they are missing the real meaning of the singer songwriter, the real Davids that have learned from life how to make a living song that sings its time and age and goes all through time to become timeless. This cannot be done by promoting mediocrity or in a studio; it comes from the inner voice and the inner music. David Rodriguez is the real coffee and not the ersatz; he is a real voice and the reason why you should listen to music.

Song List:

  • Vision Of Europa
  • Cuba Libre.
  • Midnight Flight
  • Perfect love
  • Song For Prague.
  • Belgium Blues
  • South Holland Girl
  • The Lonesome Drover
  • Titus
  • Out west Sunset
  • Try

Edited by: David N. Pyles

Copyright 2007, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.

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