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'Kinky Friedman: The Resurrected Tour' comes to Buffalo

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Tue, Apr 11th 2017 05:15 pm
Kinky Friedman (Photo by Hans Bauer)
Kinky Friedman (Photo by Hans Bauer)

Legendary outlaw country singer/songwriter hits the road in advance of return to studio

"Governor of the Heart of Texas," Kinky Friedman has been resurrected. And he's hitting the road to prove it.

The legendary outlaw country singer/songwriter, novelist and self-styled Texan's latest album, "The Loneliest Man I Ever Met" (Avenue A Records/Thirty Tigers), mixing originals with interpretations of the music of his greatest contemporaries, has been a hit since its 2015 release. It received rave reviews across the board, making it Friedman's best and most popular effort ever.

Yes, the Kinkster has been resurrected.

The "Resurrected Tour" starts in mid-April and will continue to the middle of May. Friedman will perform with his uber sideman, New Jersey's own Joe Cirotti. Friedman's CD producer, Brian Molnar, will open the show as a duet with Cirotti. Longtime Kinkster pal Brian Kanof will auction off bottles (first half of the tour only) of Friedman's personal brand of "Mexican mouthwash," "Man in Black Tequila," to benefit Friedman's award-winning animal rescue group. Utopia Animal Rescue Ranch.

Friedman will be live at Sportsmens Tavern in Buffalo on Wednesday, April 26.

The stogie-waving, black-hat-wearing singer, storyteller, tequila purveyor, animal rescuer and full-time iconoclast's "The Loneliest Man I Ever Met," featuring his first newly written songs in four decades, has to have been one of the longest-awaited follow-ups in recent memory. Not that fans have complained. The continued popularity of Friedman tunes such as "Sold American," "Nashville Casualty and Life" and "Ride 'Em Jewboy" (the Holocaust-referencing song that soothed Nelson Mandela in prison) prove Friedman is that rare talent whose work withstands the test of time. He still delivers those songs - interspersed with his inimitable blend of politically incorrect quips, jokes and tales both tall and true - to appreciative audiences around the world.

Coming soon from Backbeat Books will be Mary Lou Sullivan's comprehensive Friedman bio, titled "Everything's Bigger in Texas — The Life and Times of Kinky Friedman." Sullivan penned the acclaimed Johnny Winter biography "Raisin' Cain —The Wild and Raucous Story of Johnny Winter." Originally scheduled for an early 2018 release, the publication date has been moved up to November, due to buzz around the book. 

Friedman himself is finishing up a book about another artist. He's co-author, with Louie Kemp, of Kemp's memoir "The Boys From the North Country: My Life With Robert Zimmerman and Bob Dylan." Kemp, a lifelong friend of Dylan's, details a series of stories about the men from Minnesota, beginning at childhood. It is also scheduled for a holiday release. 

Over the years, Friedman and Willie Nelson have developed a special (and also quite unusual) relationship. It was Nelson's inspiration that led to the recording of "The Loneliest Man I Ever Met." Now calling Nelson his "personal shrink," Friedman credits him with his return to full-time songwriting. Nelson - who told Friedman after the latter's failed 2006 Texas gubernatorial race "fortunately, we are not in control" - called Friedman  about a year ago just to say howdy. When asked what he was doing at that moment, Friedman replied, "watching 'Matlock.' " Nelson told him that was a sure sign of depression and that he should start writing songs again. His exact words: "Start writing, Kinky - start writing."

Friedman did, in fact, start writing that night, and has now written a dozen more new songs, all of which will be on his next CD, which he will start recording this summer with Cirotti and Molnar.

Several of these new tunes will be available during the tour on a special EP Friedman recorded at Echo Hill: "Resurrected — A Limited Collector's Edition."  All of these songs are solo recordings (without Cirotti's acclaimed accompaniment).

Friedman is essentially bootlegging his own product, before the bootleggers get it.

And there is more on the horizon. Currently, he is finishing editing on his first detective novel in several years, "The Return of Kinky Friedman by Kinky Friedman," which will hit in early 2018; and his popular earlier book, "Road Kill," is being developed as a pilot for a limited series on network television.

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