Episode 133: Kinky Friedman

3Nov

He calls it “the curse of being multi-talented” and insists that it is, in fact, a curse. Musician, author, politician, comedian, and all around gadfly, Kinky Friedman is one of the those rare multi-faceted artists who is arguably equally well-known for several of different endeavors. Reflecting upon his singular career at 70, Friedman hesitates for a moment, invoking the curse with the suggestion that he may have found more fame, had he simply buckled down and focused on aspect at the expense of all others. But in 2006, for example, the call for public service trumped the rest, as the self-proclaimed Original Texas Jewboy threw his 10-gallon hat in the ring, challenging incumbent Republican candidate Rick Perry for the role of governor of the lone star state. Two decades prior, he penned a long string of hard-boiled detective books inspired by the likes of Raymond Chandler. This year Friedman returned to music with The Loneliest Man I Ever Met, his first studio album in 35 years, a set of songs that caught critics completely off-guard, trading acerbic standards like “Asshole From El Paso” and “They Ain’t Makin’ Jews Like Jesus Anymore” for restrained and musically minimalist covers of arts like Tom Waits and Dylan. Though, as our half-hour together can happily attest, all the reflection in the world can’t stop Kinky from being Kinky.

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