December 7, 2019

Kinky Friedman On His New ‘Resurrection’ Album, Lessons Learned From Touring

Kinky Friedman; Photo courtesy of Kinky Friedman.

As said by Rolling Stone last year about Kinky Friedman: “At 73, the Texas oddball has landed on a newfound sincerity. Friedman has arrived at a more empathic narrative voice, spinning old yarns in new ways.”

Back in October, legendary singer/songwriter Kinky Friedman released “Resurrection” via Echo Hill Records. Produced by superstar producer, multi-instrumentalist, and three-time Grammy Award winner Larry Campbell, Kinky Friedman’s latest studio effort features contributions from three-time Grammy-winning engineer Justin Guip, co-writer Doc Elliot, and long-time pal Willie Nelson. In support of “Resurrection,” Friedman has kept busy on the road this month with the Merry Kinkster Tour, which is set to wrap in Austin, Texas on Dec. 21.

However, the acclaimed musical career of Kinky Friedman who NPR called “the most outrageous Jewish cowboy in Texas” back in 2015goes back to the early 1970s. He scored a hit with “Sold American,” the title track from 1973 album, and would go on to tour with with Bob Dylan in 1976. Friedman would reportedly become the first full-blooded Jew to take the stage at Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry and have his sounds covered by the likes of Dwight Yoakam, Tom Waits, Kelly Willis, Lyle Lovett and the aforementioned Willie Nelson.

Friedman has also found success as an author; he wrote his first detective novel in the 1980s. He would also become a columnist for the Texas Monthly. Friedman’s infamy would also lead him the down the road of several political elections, notably receiving 12.6% of the votes within the 2006 gubernatorial election in Texas.

Any way you slice it, Kinky Friedman is worth celebrating as a music fan, as a free-thinker and as a Jewish-American. When given the chance to interview him in-person at New York City’s NYMA Hotel on Nov. 4, 2019, I jumped at the chance. Granted the audio quality did not exactly turn out as planned – hindsight being 20/20, recording at an outdoor rooftop bar may not have been the best idea – but the charm, wit and appeal of Friedman are still fully in tact.

Extra thanks to Friedman’s long-time musical accomplice Washington Ratso, who was present for the interview and even weighed in on one of the questions asked.

More on Kinky Friedman can be found here.