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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 14, 2015

RENOWNED RACONTEUR KINKY FRIEDMAN TO RELEASE
THE LONELIEST MAN I EVER MET, HIS FIRST ALBUM OF
NEW MATERIAL IN 39 YEARS, ON OCTOBER 1

Legendary outlaw country singer/songwriter, novelist and Texas Jewboy joined by Willie Nelson on Avenue A/Thirty Tigers disc
mixing originals with interpretations of Cash, Waits, Zevon, Dylan and others

KERRVILLE, Texas — Nobody could invent a character quite like Kinky Friedman, the stogie-waving, black-hat-wearing Texas Jewboy singer, storyteller, tequila purveyor, animal rescuer and full-time iconoclast. Though renowned for penning some of outlaw country’s most outrageous songs, authoring bestsellers and running for governor of Texas, his 45-year career includes touring with Dylan’s Rolling Thunder Revue; recording with Clapton, most of the Band and Ringo Starr; appearing on Saturday Night Live and at the Grand Ole Opry; and writing one of Nelson Mandela’s favorite songs. He also became the protagonist of his own crime novels, because even he couldn’t invent a character that could out-kink Kinky Friedman.

But what he hasn’t done in 39 years is record a new studio album. Friedman’s The Loneliest Man I Ever Met, releasing October 2 on Avenue A Records/Thirty Tigers, might be one of the longest-awaited follow-ups in recent memory. Not that fans have complained; the continued popularity of tunes such as “Sold American,” “Nashville Casualty and Life” and “Ride ’Em Jewboy” (the Holocaust-referencing song that soothed Mandela in prison) prove Kinky is that rare talent whose work withstands the test of time. Friedman still delivers those songs — interspersed with his inimitable blend of politically incorrect quips, jokes and tales both tall and true — to appreciative audiences around the world.

Still, there were more sentiments he needed to express — his own and those of colleagues such as Tom Waits, Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan, Merle Haggard and his pal Willie Nelson, who produced and performs on his own “Bloody Mary Morning.” The album’s opening song, which also features Willie’s sister, Bobbie, on piano and Kevin Smith on standup bass, is rendered as a spare duet, their traded lines punctuated with Nelson’s Spanish guitar-picking. Conveying both immediacy and intimacy, it sets the tone for the other 11 tracks, all produced by Brian Molnar and featuring guitarist Joe Cirotti, with harmonica by Willie’s Family Band mate Mickey Raphael and piano contributions by Little Jewford, Kinky’s sidekick since his first post-Peace Corps job — bandleader of the Texas Jewboys.

Though songs such as Waits’ “A Christmas Card From a Hooker in Minneapolis,” Haggard’s “Mama’s Hungry Eyes,” Dylan’s “Girl from the North Country” and Friedman’s own “Lady Yesterday,” not to mention his 20-year-old, never-recorded co-write with Tim Hoover, “I’m the Loneliest Man I Ever Met,” seem filled with melancholy, despair and regret — and certainly, loneliness — Friedman suggests they’re something else: Romantic.

He explains, “What I’ve tried to do is interpret some of these songs. But it’s not like Tony Bennett sings Willie Nelson; it’s more spiritually halfway between those people and me. So if you’re not a little bit melancholy, maybe you should be.

“A happy American creates nothing great,” he adds. “My definition of an artist is someone who’s ahead of his time and behind on his rent. If you can figure out how to stay that way, you can write the great shit that Kris [Kristofferson] and Willie were able to do. Look at what shape Willie was in when he was writing in Nashville — he had three little kids and was just broke, living in a trailer park. Willie wrote ‘Night Life, ‘Funny How Time Slips Away’ and ‘Crazy’ all in one week — a terrible week in his life.”

That’s what country music was all about, according to Kinky, before it came “homogenized and trivialized and sanitized.”

Railing against such perceived evils — whether cultural, political, social or in any other realm of human experience — is one of Friedman’s favorite pastimes, which is why he calls Warren Zevon’s “My Shit’s Fucked Up” possibly the album’s most important song. The late Zevon wrote it as a commentary on his own failing health, but Friedman finds it a perfect allegory for the current state of world affairs. As a man who has traveled much of the planet, quotes Winston Churchill, calls two presidents pals and now labels himself “governor of the heart of Texas” (as chosen by voters everywhere but in his home state), he’s in a position to know.

But in most cases, the selections, which also include a lesser-known Cash song that was Friedman’s father’s favorite (“Pickin’ Time”) and two Great American Songbook tunes (“Wand’rin’ Star” and “A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square”), reflect more personal feelings.

To Friedman, they’re significant works by significant people, and he wants others to hear them. That’s one big reason why he’s gearing up for yet another of what the calls his “bi-polar” tours.

“I enjoy being on the road,” he says, noting his latest foray, launching October 9, includes something like 30 dates without a break. “You can imagine what shape you’re in,” he adds. “It’s kind of stream-of-nervousness.”

But Friedman also likes getting out there and meeting people, which, he notes, is a good thing, “because if my career goes south, I may become a Wal-Mart greeter.”

Yeah, the rim-shot lines flow just like that from a guy once characterized as the Frank Zappa of outlaw country. But he kids, of course. Because as soon as he finishes this tour, he’ll likely start another, signing copies of his soon-to-be-released who-done-it, The Hard-Boiled Computer (a title that carries no small dose of irony, coming as it does from a guy who claims not to own an email or text account and who will remove the cigar stub from his mouth long enough to insist, “Real cowboys don’t tweet”).

His other schemes — joining ISIS or planning the perfect country-music death — likely won’t work, either, because he’s also busy creating a series of TV movies based on his mysteries, with Billy Bob Thornton playing the role of Kinky. There’s also the Utopia Animal Rescue Ranch to think of, and perhaps turning those summer-camp cabins into the Shalom Retirement Village for old musicians.

“Maybe I’ll just have to get back to songwriting,” he says, stifling a sigh, “so the next one will have more Kinky originals.”

Though “hurry up” apparently is not part of his lexicon, it’s safe to assume we won’t have to wait quite as long for those. If he sticks with career plan A. It’s worked pretty well so far.

Tour dates
Fri., Oct 9 ASHLAND, VA Ashland Coffee and Tea
Sat., Oct 10 DENVER, CO Robert E. Loup JCC
Sun., Oct. 11 PITTSBURGH, PA Club Cafe
Mon., Oct 12 WASHINGTON, DC The Hamilton Live
Tues., Oct 13 ANNAPOLIS, MD Ram’s Head
Wed., Oct 14 STANHOPE, NJ Stanhope House
Thurs., Oct 15 SELLERSVILLE, PA Sellersville Theater
Fri., Oct 16 ALBANY, NY The Linda — WAMC’s Performing Arts
Sat., Oct. 17 BUFFALO, NY Sportsman’s Tavern
Sun., Oct 18 MONTREAL, QC Petit Campus
Mon., Oct 19 TORONTO, ON Hugh’s Room
Wed., Oct 21 NORTHAMPTON, MA Iron Horse Music Hall
Thurs., Oct 22 NEW HAVEN, CT Cafe Nine
Fri., Oct 23 SOMERVILLE, MA Johnny D’s
Sat., Oct 24 PAWLING, NY Daryl’s House Club
Sun., Oct 25 BORDENTOWN, NJ The Record Collector <
Mon., Oct 26 FALL RIVER, MA Narrows Center for the Arts
Tues., Oct 27 NEW YORK, NY B.B. Kings
Wed., Oct 28 PIERMONT, NY The Turning Point
Thurs., Oct 29 FORT WORTH, TX Texas Council of Social Studies
Fri., Oct 30 COLLINSVILLE, CT Bridge Street Live
Sat., Oct 31 RINGWOOD, NJ Live at Drew’s House Concert
Mon., Nov 2 COLUMBUS, OH Woodlands Tavern
Tues., Nov 3 CLEVELAND, OH Wilbert’s
Wed., Nov 4 EVANSTON (CHICAGO), IL SPACE
Thurs., Nov 5 ST. LOUIS, MO Off Broadway
Fri., Nov 6 KANSAS CITY, MO Knuckleheads
Sun., Nov 8 CHARLESTON, WV Mountain Stage
Mon., Nov 9 NEWPORT, KY Southgate House
Tues., Nov 10 NASHVILLE, TN Bluebird Cafe

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Listen to Kinky Friedman's duet with Willie Nelson via Rolling Stone Country:
http://rol.st/1JgU1Aj

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 12, 2012

KINKY FRIEDMAN GOES BIPOLAR

Kinky’s BiPolar Tour invades the Northeast in June

AUSTIN, Texas — Everyone’s favorite former Texas gubernatorial candidate, political commentator and self-proclaimed “author, columnist, musician and beautician” Kinky Friedman is going bipolar, as in Kinky Friedman’s BiPolar Tour, which starts in New England on June 6 and continues through to July 1. As he has done on his recent “sojourns through America,” Kinky will be performing solo, dispensing the wisdom of the Jewish troubadour, and signing books.

The Kinkster, whose solo performance has recently been described as “Mark Twain meets Groucho Marx . . . at the corner of Johnny Cash and Lenny Bruce,” will be hitting the road fresh on the heels of the release of his brand new book, The Billy Bob Tapes: A Cave Full of Ghosts, co-authored by and about the life and times of Billy Bob Thornton. With a foreword from Angelina Jolie, The Billy Bob Tapes promises “colorful tales of [Billy Bob’s] modest Southern upbringing, his bizarre phobias, his life, his loves . . . and, of course, his movie career.” And, as Kinky has often said, “the Kinkster will sign anything but bad legislation.”

Kinky Friedman rose to stardom in the ’70s, with his seminal band the Texas Jewboys. An equal-opportunity offender, Kinky, with his outrageous lyrics and crazed stage persona, may have offended some, but drew people like Don Imus, Robin Williams, Bob Dylan and John Belushi into his spiritual fan club. He toured with Dylan’s Rolling Thunder Revue and appeared on the inaugural season of Saturday Night Live. His infamous appearance on Austin City Limits, the only performance ever filmed by ACL and never broadcast because of content, has finally been released on DVD, to the delight of fans everywhere.

While cooling his jets from touring in the ’80s, Kinky wrote a wildly popular series of mystery novels featuring himself as the detective. In the years since, the real Kinky has branched out into children’s books, memoirs, historical reflections and editorials, all to great success, and all powered by his razor sharp wit. It should not be a surprise to anyone that he and Billy Bob Thornton hooked up. Also not surprising is the fact that Kinky and Willie Nelson have become good friends, and that they, too, are writing a book together.

Kinky’s commentaries have appeared in such diverse media as The New York Times, Texas Monthly and Playboy, and, since adding politics to his résumé, he has been a regular on cable networks of every stripe. His books are now read the world over, and his tour schedule reflects this. From Bill Clinton to Nelson Mandela, everybody loves a Kinky Friedman book.

And apparently everybody loves a good Kinky Friedman performance, as well, as reviews of his shows have been off the charts nearly everywhere. Kinky Friedman is the real deal, an amazing performer, and one of America’s brightest literary lights. The Kinkster truly is the Jewish troubadour of our times, with a show for the ages.

Kinky Friedman’s BiPolar Tour:

Wed., June 6 NORTHAMPTON, MA The Iron Horse
Thurs., June 7 FALL RIVER, MA The Narrows Center For The Arts
Fri., June 8 SOMERVILLE, MA Johnny D’s
Sat., June 9 NEW YORK, NY Highline Ballroom
Sun., June 10 RINGWOOD, NJ Live At Drew’s (House Concert)
Mon., June 11 ALEXANDRIA, VA The Birchmere
Tues., June 12 ANNAPOLIS, MD The Ram’s Head Tavern
Wed., June 13 ASHLAND, VA Ashland Coffee And Tea
Thurs., June 14 SELLERSVILLE, PA Sellersville Theater
Fri., June 15 PHILADELPHIA, PA World Live Cafe
Sat., June 16 AMAGANSETT, NY Stephen’s Talkhouse
Sun., June 17 PIERMONT, NY The Turning Point
Mon., June 18 ALBANY, NY The Linda - WAMC’s Performing Arts Studio
Tues., June 19 NEW HAVEN, CT Cafe Nine
Wed., June 20 COLLINSVILLE, CT Live@Bridge Street Live
Thurs., June 21 ASBURY PARK, NJ The Saint
Fri., June 22 STANHOPE, NJ The Stanhope House
Sat., June 23 WOODSTOCK, NY Bearsville Theater
Tues., June 26 ROCHESTER, NY Water Street Music Hall
Wed., June 27 BUFFALO, NY Sportsman’s Tavern
Thurs., June 28 TORONTO, ON Hughes Room
Fri., June 29 WATERLOO, ON Starlight Lounge
Sat., June 30 MONTREAL, QE Petit Campus
Sun., July 1 CHICAGO/EVANSTON, IL SPACE

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Artist Photo

photo by Brian Kanof