Kinky Friedman. Bi Polar Tour Live From Woodstock

What is there to say about Kinky Friedman that doesn’t sound as if it’s been dreamed up by a John Waters type screenwriter hoping to capture a warped vision of the American dream? Riding on the first wave of country rock in the early seventies he formed the Texas Jewboys, an outfit that thrilled and offended folk in equal manner. He toured and recorded with Dylan and was named male chauvinist pig of the year in 1973. His songs lampooned many of the shibboleths of the day be it racism, feminism, rednecks and he delivered all of this with a biting sense of irony and a huge helping of humour.
Since then he’s branched out into writing hard boiled crime stories (featuring investigative sleuth Kinky Friedman), ran for the governorship of Texas (unsuccessfully) and launched a range of products that celebrate his own legend. He continues to perform and nowadays is in the position of being a state treasure for all Texans who believe that the heart of Texas is in Commander Cody and not the Alamo. He is a raconteur, singer, songwriter, cigar smoker and all round dude.
All of this (bar the cigars) is on display on this his latest disc. Recorded live it’s a fine mixture of his songs, his introductions, reminiscences and some readings from his books. Armed only with his guitar (and undoubted charm) there’s a nostalgic sense to most of the songs as they reflect the issues and attitudes of the late sixties and early seventies and are delivered in the singer/songwriter style of those times. Nevertheless Friedman did write some fine songs and Sold American, We Reserve The Right To Refuse Service To You, Get Your Biscuits In The Oven and Your Buns In The Bed and The Ballad of Charles Whitman stand the test of time. But the primary reason for seeing “The Kinkster” these days is for the stories and ad libs as he delves into his colourful past and remarks on modern life with a fine wit and these are well captured on the disc with Waitret, Please Waitret the best example.

Kinky Friedman plays Glasgow this Thursday at St. Andrews in The Square courtesy of the Fallen Angels Club , His last appearance here in the Tron Theatre was an immediate sell out, in this larger venue there might still be a chance to grab an opportunity to see what ultimately is an Americana legend.

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