Daniel Rodriguez

The Spirit of America

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A true example of the power of music to inspire the healing process, Daniel Rodriguez's magnificent operatic voice touched and inspired the folks gathered at Yankee Stadium just after September 11th. He became a hero of another sort, an NYPD cop whose stirring rendition of "God Bless America" captured the resilient spirit and resolve that we had no choice but to embrace and incorporate into our lives after the tragedy. Veteran saxman, musical director, and producer Tom Scott has gone out on tour with Rodriguez, who is quickly becoming a star after stepping into his moment of odd good fortune. His song choices, from "The Lord's Prayer" to "Shenandoah," are designed for spiritual comfort and heartrending patriotism, and Rodriguez's renditions are indeed goosebump-inducing. There are some dramatic, sweeping orchestras, but for the most part they don't overwhelm his voice, which is far more effective on intimate tunes like "Bring Him Home." It's hard to say whether Rodriguez is simply a one-shot phenom, but no one who listens will be sorry he found this strange way to share his gift with the world. It's not surprising that he follows "God Bless America" with "This Is the Moment." We all need shining lights like this.

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