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Kinky Friedman – THE LONELIEST MAN I EVER MET

29 January 2016 CD Reviews


 

Avenue A / Thirty Tigers

****

The return of a legend

What would you think if someone suggested you make an album despite it being 39 years since you last made one? You’d probably think they were having a laugh or being exceptionally kind to a man feeling under the weather. I’ve no idea if either scenario is true but here is Kinky Friedman’s first album for 39 years.

There is not enough space to précis the great man’s career, but he is held in very high regard by the great and the good, as evidenced by the appearance of Willie Nelson on a very spare version of his own Bloody Mary Morning. That is the opening track and very much sets the tone as liveliness doesn’t even put in a brief appearance.

For those not born at the time of the last album trying to describe the voice of this legend will be much like trying to knit fog. There is absolutely no reason to like it but like Cohen, Kristofferson and Waits it is an instrument of strange compulsion, and all is almost spoken rather than sung – which gives a pathos and unnecessary depth to quite a few of the offerings, notably the closing Wand’rin Star and A Nightingale Sang In Berkeley Square – but wonderful nonetheless.

I’ve only time to barely scratch the surface of this mighty disc but special mention must go to the harmonica maestro Mickey Raphael who imbues the whole thing with the necessary air of wistful beauty.

But I do have to end with a warning that bad language is contained within, so parents be aware that you may have to ask the kids what on earth it all means.

Ian Ambrose

www.kinkyfriedman.com


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