ACL Live Shots
Reviewed by Thomas Fawcett, Fri., Oct. 9, 2009
RodriguezOct. 4, Zilker Park
Nearly four decades after releasing his brilliant debut of psych-folk realism, Rodriguez brought Cold Fact to life in front of a thin early Sunday crowd. Dressed from head to toe in black save for a silver peace-sign belt buckle, the forgotten folkie thoroughly charmed despite looking a little lost at times. Pestered by feedback, the band teetered on the brink of collapse a couple of times, FEMA all but stepping in on "I Think of You" as the nominal bandleader's erratic strumming threw things off. Rodriguez has played only a handful of shows since leaving music in the rearview mirror some 35 years ago and doesn't regularly practice with the North Carolina fourpiece he played with. They hooked up after one of its members tried booking Rodriguez in Asheville, N.C., only to find he had no band. For ACL, the twopiece horn section was plucked from Austin's Craigslist. For all its ups and downs, the set was a triumph. As the band closed with "Forget It," a woman near the front of the stage wept, tears streaming down from behind oversized sunglasses. It was a testament to the enduring power of Rodriguez's songcraft, and that's cold fact.