Had been so excited to see Rodriguez at the Masonic. The show sold out with no advertising!  Having friends at the Masonic allowed me to sit in on Rodriguez's sound check..We didn't even know if he would actually be there...but he was! We love his music and are huge fans.

Rodriguez's most famous LP Cold Fact was Co-produced by Motown guitar god Dennis Coffey & Mike Theodore and featured members of legendary Motown players The Funk Brothers.

I do however want to shine a BIG SPOT LIGHT on the producers from Detroit that found Rodriguez and crafted the masterpiece LP "Cold Fact".  I spent a bit of time speaking with the charming Mr. Coffey just the other day and he told me the back story of how he and co-producer Mike Theodore heard about this mysterious urban "Bob Dylan" and set out to go see him play live.

They found him playing at The Sewer bar off Jefferson by the Detroit River. They could barely find him in the smoky room.  Rodriguez was so shy that he was playing guitar and singing with his back to the audience!

Dennis Coffey

Now...these two VERY famous Motown producers could have just turned on their heels and left the room.  Most would have...Dennis told me he and Mike were really blown away by Rodriguez's music. He was just so unique and different that they wanted to record him asap.

In the studio Rodriguez was still so shy that they recorded him by himself first and then mixed the other players into the songs after he left!  Rodriguez didn't have enough songs so Dennis and Mike wrote "Hate Street Dialogue" and "Gommorah."

You know...it takes a village to create a masterpiece of the enormity of Cold Fact.  It took hours and hours of time in the studio and it is satisfying to finally see Dennis and Mike get the recognition they deserve.

Dennis Coffey and Mike Theodore have a staggering discography.  Dennis is on Psychedelic Shack, Ball of Confusion, and numerous major Motown hits not to mention HIS huge hit with SCORPIO..

Cold Fact is Rodriguez's best album-- thanks to amazing arrangements and production by Motown guitar God Dennis Coffey and Mike Theodore, both of whom give the album a stoned-out feel that sets it up nicely with other work on the Sussex label at the time.  

**Special thanks to Karen (for rescuing my cameras!) Paul, and Steve**


Phil said...

Great write-up article! Thanks for the back story!

Jim Randolph said...

Dennis and Mike produced "CJ&Co" on Westbound Records back in the late 70s...I was called in from LA to be their road mgr. I had the opportunity to be in the studio during a recording session watching Mike lay down a drum track while Dennis was at the console.

Ken Settle said...

I enjoyed this post a great deal, especially giving a good shout out about Dennis Coffey and Mike Theodore. Not too cool though that the son-in-law feels he can and should be so heavy handed, and that apparently he and those around him choose to, in my opinion, lessen his legacy by such heavy handedness and disrespect to the media. That is a shame and runs contrary to what this artist is purported to be about.

Tony Cimorosi said...

very informative

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