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Graduating from a private academy in his home state of Connecticut, Rod went on to earn a bachelor's degree in history from the University of Virginia, and a law degree from Columbia Law University in 1973. In the summer of 1971, he was a correspondent with the Washington DC bureau of Newsweek Magazine, and covered the Jimmy Hoffa parole hearings and the Pentagon Papers trial.
Rod had been performing while in Virginia, was part of the five-piece folk group The Lovin' Sound, and was playing gigs in New York. Just before entering his final year at Columbia Law School, he made a life-changing decision. Graduating with a law degree, Rod never took the bar exam. Instead, he remained in New York to follow his true passion since early childhood; music.
Rod became a pivotal force in the folk music scene of Greenwich Village, and made a profound imprint on the Village's music circuit. He co-founded the Greenwich Village Folk Festival, and performed at well-known clubs and concert halls like the famous Bottom Line and Speakeasy. His first major engagement came when he opened for Peter Yarrow and Max's Kansas City, and later Emmylou Harris and Richie Havens. He appeared alongside Tom Chapin, Tom Paxton, Tammy Wynette, Shawn Colvin, Odetta, Doc Watson, Suzanne Vega, and many others.
His works have been recorded by such peers as Four Bitchin' Babes, Happy Traum, Garnet Rogers and Dave Van Ronk. Rod's classic "Sailor's Prayer", which he performs acapella, has been covered by more than two dozen artists.
In the 80s, Rod began touring in the US and abroad, and recorded several solo works for Brambus Records in Europe. The well-known classic, "White Buffalo", later put him in contact with Frank Fool's Crow, a ceremonial chief and medicine healer of the Oglala Sioux Indians. When the album "White Buffalo", featuring the song of the same name, was released, it was a tribute to Rod's friendship with Frank Fool's Crow.
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