Listening to the Kinky Friedman of today is like getting an in-depth look at his soul, and that easily transfers to in-depth looks inside oneself as well. Long gone, it seems, is the Kinky of his youth, when his music was fun and comic, yet quirky and cheeky. Now, he writes of emotion and caring, his own and of others across the globe.
In this new CD, “Resurrection,” released on Echo Hill Records, the Kinkster penned 11 new songs, and not a loser in the bunch.
“Blind Kinky Friedman” is perhaps the most poignant look at how we so often forget our blessings, the love and bounty so freely given to us. Written, it seems, while he was on his pity pot — or maybe right after he’d just gotten off it and the emotions were still running rampant in his head. “And blind Kinky Friedman is feeling sorry for himself and for every soul only God can see, sometimes he still remembers that he’s me, wakes up in a gutter filled with sorrow, with a newspaper blanket, resting on a pillow made of smoke. Oh, Blind Kinky, that old boy can really sing the blues.”
The opening track, “Mandela’s Blues,” is absorbing, and it could be because Kinky manages to put himself in Nelson Mandela’s shoes, both while the South African giant was in prison and before and after those dreadful 27 years of incarceration. “Twenty years of rags and prison shoes, he paid a whole nation’s dues. He lost everything that a man could lose, everything but Mandela’s blues. It’s a long walk to freedom, there we will always stay. He smiled at Jesus and winked at Ghandi, knowing they would understand.”
And a love song has never been written such as “Carryin’ The Torch.” True love at its finest: “If you traveled around this world, you wouldn’t find another girl, could hold a candle to the one gal you left behind. On the day you discover how many you really love her, you’ll find her love has never lost it’s glow.” Can’t say more about this song, or it could be too much and spoil the surprise of hearing the full song for the first time.
So many others with deep lyrics — such as “down that lonely road called yesterday” and “The lessons that you can’t forget are the only ones you learned.” And this writer, for one, cannot listen to “A Dog In The Sky” without wiping away a bit of moisture from the eyes.
Kinky Friedman’s words and deliveries, drawl and all, stay with you and reflect the ragged part of the heart that most other songwriters never get close to touching. This collection features the best of today’s music genres, written and delivered with rare genius and only described as the all-inclusive “Americana.”
The cigar-smoking man in black brings honor to music, to people, and to his Texas Hill Country home. Resurrection can be found on most streaming sites, isn’t yet available on the something-for-everyone Amazon.com (though most of his previous recordings are), but is available in hard copy from his own Website, KinkyFriedman.com. He is also touring nationally with the release of Resurrection and will be at Poor David’s Pub in Dallas on Nov. 22.