ALBUM REVIEW: Daniel Eduardo Rodriguez’s (D-ro) Sojourn Of a Burning Sun

Many grieve the demise of the iconic band, ‘Elephant Revival.

And yet,

the good news is

Daniel Eduardo Rodriguez


has emerged from the wreckage,

from hard experience,

stronger in the song,

stronger in the poem,

stronger in the life-force.

He has come through close encounters with death.

He awoke on the band bus to find that his bed was on fire.

He was closest to the fire.

He was the one marked by trauma.

He suspects he had Covid-19.

And because of this,

he had a near-fatal heart attack in July.

Two years ago his relationship with Bonnie May Paine,

and the band

abruptly ended.

D-ro’s and Bonnie’s love

was the beginning of the band.

It was much of the band’s song.

‘Sojourn of a Burning Sun,’ his first solo album is a mediation on all of this.

His attempt to

figure it out,

find solace

for himself,

and us all.

He describes his arrival at a kind of philosophical serenity in the song, 

‘The Unknown.’

‘The storm is over
Chaos took me down,’ he sings.

‘To a place no one really knows anymore
And I’m getting older
But I’m a new man again
I’ve gone down in a ball of flames
I’ve shattered, but I’m getting up again…

‘…I’m out here in the unknown
Unsure of the things that have been shown
Throwing it all to the wind
I’m questioning everything
Oh, how the bird has flown
Looking for another tree
Singing a brand new song
And it has nothing to do with me…

‘…I’ll be here through the night
Writing charms in the candlelight
Casting shadows on the wall
Trying to make sense of it all
And you’re there where you ought to be
Somewhere where you feel free
I just have to learn to accept
That it has nothing to do with me.’

In the song, ‘Dying to Live,’ he sings

of his continuing efforts to figure it all out.

‘…You want to know what’s true and fair
You want to see what’s really there
You want to see straight through the smoke
Transcend your fears your hopes
Oh, all these thoughts here in between
Just remembering to breathe
There aint no holy wearing crown
We’re just beggars bent to bow…’

And yet,

where D-ro always goes

is to that place

on the other side

of the darkness,

the despair,

to that place of 




His song

‘Good Graces’

is what I’ve always called

an original, traditional song.

It goes,

‘Good Graces
Good-good graces, please come on in
Good-good graces, please come on in
I’ve written you from afar but now I’m coming in
I place my many masks upon the walls of your dynasty
I drank your water. I’m drunk on your wine
And I’ll drop the reins for you my friend from time to time…
All the time.
Good-good graces, please come on in
Good-good graces, please come on in
I feel your winds
They blow on through
To bring you in
Is what our breath can do
The gates have opened
The walls have all burned down
And inside the ashes, our feet dance around
Good-good graces, please come on in
Good-good graces, please come on in
Good-good graces, please come on in
I’ve written you from afar
But now I’m coming 

Sam Libby

Sam Libby (a.k.a. Rabbi SchmuDawg) currently resides in Terranas, Dominican Republic and is completing a collection of Central American stories entitled 'The Gonzo/Kukalcan Papers', to be published in spring 2021.

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