The Loneliest Man I Ever Met

Kinky Friedman

Avenue A/Thirty Tigers, 2015

REVIEW BY: David Bowling


Kinky Friedman is an author, animal lover, storyteller, tequila expert, and erstwhile candidate for the governor of Texas. What he has not done in the last 39 years is issue a new album … until now. The Loneliest Man I Ever Met is due to be released in early October.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Friedman has always been known for his social activism and biting political satire, all of which have found their way into his music. Here, he takes a somewhat different journey by recording primarily cover songs. In some ways, he has a very personal connection to the chosen material, but when I think of Friedman, I want over-the-top, make fun of the world, in-your-face songs.

Bob Dylan’s “Girl From The North Country” and Merle Haggard’s “Mama’s Hungry Eyes” are heartfelt performances and his take on two songs from the Great American Songbook, “Wand’rin’ Star” and “A Nightingale Sang In Berkeley Square,” seem to strike a personal chord. His two original songs, “Lady Yesterday” and the title track, are more melancholy and pensive than upbeat or even cutting.

Perhaps the best track is the opening “Bloody Mary Morning,” which is an old Willie Nelson tune. He and Nelson duet, creating a stark and weary take on this forgotten country classic.

What is disappointing about this release is that it is less interesting than his early work. He is a complicated person who has the ability to express his views simply, but that is not on display here. Nelson, Waits, Cash, and Haggard are all fine, but more Friedman is wanted.

The Loneliest Man I Ever Met” seems like an album Friedman created for himself. It is comprised of songs that are meaningful to him. Whether that passion is communicated to his long-time fans remains to be seen.

In a recent interview, he stated that the next release will have more originals. It’s a good idea, and hopefully we won’t have to wait another 39 years.

Rating: C+

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 2015 David Bowling and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Avenue A/Thirty Tigers, and is used for informational purposes only.