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The Loneliest Man I Ever Met

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Album Review

Kinky Friedman has a well-deserved reputation as the prankster of the Lone Star State's singer/songwriter community, the self-proclaimed "Texas Jewboy" whose bent sense of humor and flexible attitude about good taste made him a cult hero practically guaranteed never to break through to mainstream acceptance. (Friedman ended up enjoying greater popular success as a mystery novelist than as a musician.) But anyone who has dug deep into Friedman's catalog knows his jokes are smarter than they might seem on the surface, and that along with numbers like "They Ain't Makin' Jews Like Jesus Anymore" and "A*****e from El Paso," the man has a genuinely thoughtful side. Friedman has decided to give his soulful and contemplative nature its moment in the spotlight on his 2015 album The Loneliest Man I Ever Met, a primarily acoustic set where Friedman summons up a late-night mood that feels bluesy without leaning on 12-bar numbers. Significantly, this album is also mainly devoted to the work of other songwriters; Friedman only wrote three of the album's 12 songs, and two of them, "Lady Yesterday" and "Wild Man of Borneo," date back to the '70s. Kinky's skill as a singer has long been more about bravado than technique, and time has left his instrument a bit sandy, but the grain of his voice and the sleepy insistence of his delivery on tunes like "Christmas Card from a Hooker in Minneapolis," "Hungry Eyes," and "Pickin' Time" add to their strength. Friedman brings a fear and regret to Warren Zevon's "My S**t's F****d Up" that's honestly powerful, and he duets with Willie Nelson on "Bloody Mary Morning" in a version that adds some well-worn wisdom to the tune's insouciance. And if Kinky hits the notes only moderately better than Lee Marvin on "Wand'rin Star," he conveys its spirit beautifully. The notion of Kinky Friedman as a reflective song stylist might take some getting used to for some fans, but The Loneliest Man I Ever Met shows he can pull it off better than most would expect, and if his singing is a long way from perfect, the heart and soul are present at all times.

Customer Reviews

A genius's take on life, love and the human condition with gut wrenching honesty.

Kinky has been called the "Misunderstood Genius" and it's hard to disagree. But after you've heard this album twice, not once...but twice, you will understand the genius behind the Texas legend a little better.

I say hear it twice because until you do, many of the songs refuse to give you their true meaning. In other words, the first round is purely expository and the second playing is when you know what's coming. And what the words are saying between the lines.

Kinky's fans have always been either brilliantly smart or pathetically stupid people, not much in between.

Personally, I'm happier in flip-flop mode.

Another gem from the Kinkster!

It has been FAR to long since we had a new studio album from Friedman. This is great! I love all of Kinky’s books but have been a real fan of his musical work since his first album. This is a great release and will be a huge hit with his many fans. It will also make a bunch of new fans if they get to hear it! Spread the word and enjoy the album.

Biography

Born: October 31, 1944 in Chicago, IL

Genre: Fiction & Literature

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Who else could have written a country song about the Holocaust ("Ride 'Em Jewboy"), or about a human being kept in a cage as part of a circus ("Wild Man from Borneo")? Outrageous and irreverent but nearly always thought-provoking, Kinky Friedman wrote and performed satirical country songs during the 1970s and has been hailed the Frank Zappa of country music. The son of a University of Texas professor who raised his children on the family ranch, Rio Duckworth, he was born Richard F. Friedman. He studied...
Full Bio
The Loneliest Man I Ever Met, Kinky Friedman
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