Kinky Friedman returns with ‘The Loneliest Man I Ever Met’ LP

Kinky‘The Loneliest Man I Ever Met’
Kinky Friedman (Avenue A/Thirty Tigers)
4 stars out of 5

Outrageous and irreverent, yet bitingly witty and thought-provoking, Kinky Friedman has carved out a deserved reputation as one of country music’s true originals. The author of such enduring tunes as “Sold American,” “Nashville Casualty and Life” and “Ride ‘Em Jewboy,” it’s been 39 years since Kinky recorded an album of new material.

Kinky CDUntil now, that is. “The Loneliest Man I Ever Met” finds the 70-year-old Friedman serving up a nice blend of original tunes and covers of tunes by the likes of Willie Nelson, Warren Zevon, Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan, Merle Haggard, Tom Waits and Waylon Jennings.

“What I’ve tried to do is interpret some of these songs,” Friedman explains. “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.”

Nelson sits in for a lid-lifting performance of his “Bloody Mary Morning,” and Friedman also shines bright on his renditions of tunes by Waits (“A Christmas Card From a Hooker in Memphis”), Zevon (“My Shit’s Fucked Up”), Haggard (“Hungry Eyes”) and Cash (“Pickin’ Time”). Originals like the title track and “Lady Yesterday” are keepers, along with a pair of forays into the Great American Songbook (“Wand’rin Star” and “A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square.” Enjoy’ y’all. (Jeffrey Sisk)

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