Kinky Friedman to play Bearsville Theater

Nobody could invent a character quite like Kinky Friedman, the stogie-waving, black-hat-wearing self-proclaimed Texas Jewboy singer, storyteller, tequila purveyor, animal rescuer, sometime political candidate and full-time iconoclast.

The Kinkster will make it to Woodstock at 8:30 p.m. Thursday, April 20, at the Bearsville Theater for a show as part of his “Resurrected Tour” — a thirty-five-city jaunt which begins in mid-April and will continue through the middle of May without a day off.

“I think Willie (Nelson) is right,” says Friedman. “You don’t take a day off. If you take a day off the next show is going to suck. [So] you are running on pure adrenalin, and you’ll hear Lenny Bruce, Hank Williams, Jesus and Johnny Appleseed all talking to you at once. It will be a very pure and raw performance and it will get better and better as you go — if I can make it without them rolling me in on a gurney doing 35 shows and working on three books. It’s like Willie says, ‘it’s a tonic to play for live audiences and to go to the next big town without slashing your wrists.’”

Advertisement

The man who penned such classic songs as “They Ain’t Makin’ Jews Like Jesus Anymore,” and “Get Your Biscuits in The Oven and Your Buns in The Bed” will be featuring new songs from what he calls his Matlock Collection, remembering the TV show starring Andy Griffith as a cantankerous attorney that ran from 1986 to 1995. “Half of the songs will be from the Matlock Collection, brand new, in fact never heard and never played on a tour of America yet.” He tells the story of the name.

“One night last year, Willie called me about three in the morning and he says ‘what are you doing?’ I say I’m watching Matlock and he said ‘turn that off. That’s a sure sign of depression.’ Willie’s kind of my shrink so I listen to him pretty well. So, I started writing songs for the first time in 40 years. The first one was ‘Sister Sarah’ and the next one was ‘Jesus in Pajamas’ and so forth. Anyway, there’s 14 new and original songs. We will have the EP available of the new demo of the five brand new songs. And I might say that I am trying to bootleg it before they bootleg it.”

He adds a postscript to the story. “When I finished these songs I called Willie and I said ‘how are you doing, Willie?’ and he says ‘well a little up, a little down, everything’s alright.’ He asked me to send the rough songs to him and then he said ‘by the way Kinky, what channel is Matlock on?’”

Three books? Well, Friedman is the author of more than 20 novels, mostly mysteries that go down easy. But the first new book is about Bob Dylan and Dylan’s childhood friend Louie Kemp, who is co-writer. Kemp produced Bob’s celebrated 1975-1976 Rolling Thunder Review. “I don’t want to tip off the book but I think the title is The Adventures of Bobby and Louie. I don’t know how many biographies of Bob are out there. There’s probably several hundred, maybe more. Every one of them, almost, not all of them, but the vast majority have never met the man. They interview the same 250 people every time. They say the same things. What we have with Louie are 26 stories that are absolutely amazing being released this fall on Random House. It’s kind of like Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn…Remember when Bob recruited Louie to run Rolling Thunder, Louie told Bob, ‘I never produced anything but fish all my life,’ and Bob says, ‘If you can sell fish you can sell tickets.’ Bob recruited Louie to produce the tour and what resulted was the only time that a national tour took place that sold out everywhere. They didn’t spend one dime on promotion and they never mentioned who was on the show or where it was. I don’t think that you could do that today.”

“Then there is a new mystery that I just finished. The return of the Kinkster after three years…this book is called The Tin Can Telephone. The third book is a biography by Mary Lou Sullivan, author of a Johnny Winter biography. It will be published by Backbeat Books and titled Everything’s Bigger in Texas — The Life and Times of Kinky Friedman. That will be out in November. She’s great, really a great writer. I just wrote the introduction to the book and if you haven’t written the introduction to your biography, you haven’t lived,” he boasts.

Friedman also runs his award-winning Utopia Animal Rescue Ranch. “A place that we have been running for 20 years, and we have adopted thousands and thousands of animals, mostly dogs. I think Mark Twain said it pretty well for dogs and cats — ‘when you get to heaven don’t try to bring your dog in because heaven works on protocol. If it ran on merit, your dog would go in and you would stay out…’”

He says that at the Bearsville show, he will be auctioning off bottles of Mexican Mouthwash, Kinky’s Man in Black Tequila. “You can only get in Texas and we are going to auction them off to benefit The Utopia Rescue Ranch. This Tequila is the best Tequila in the world. It’s not your father’s Tequila, it’s your grandfather’s gardener’s Tequila. I drink it all the time now on stage. I call it the Barry Manilow drink. It makes you happy for a short period of time. It’s great for a performer, it gives you an energetic eight minutes here and then you got to take another hit.”

Songwriting to Friedman is the highest art form there is. “I think it’s a very special thing being a songwriter, much better than hanging on forever being one of these politicians. They never get out of office it seems. My definition of politics still applies. Poly means more than one and ticks are blood sucking parasites.”

Friedman ran for governor of Texas in 2006, got 12.5% of the vote, finishing fourth in a field of six. He still calls himself the Governor of the heart of Texas.

His show will be a mix of his songs and stories. “I’ll probably be down to two or three jokes per show. Every joke that Willie tells now starts with a doctor. I don’t know, maybe it’s his age or whatever.  So, a guy goes to a doctor and the doctor says I got bad news for you, you got six months to live, the guy takes out a gun and shoots the doctor right there in his office, so they gave him twenty years. That’s one…”

 

Kinky Friedman, accompanied by Joe Cirotti and his producer, Brian Molnar, will perform at 8:30 p.m. (Doors open at 7 p.m.) Thursday April 20 at the Bearsville Theater, 291 Tinker Street, Woodstock. Tickets purchased in advance are $20 for general admission, $30 seated, and $35 for Golden Circle. Add $5 for tickets the day of the show. Tickets can be purchased at bearsvilletheater.com or by calling
845-679-6744.

Post Your Thoughts