Kinky Friedman

Sellersville Theater / Sellersville, PA

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All photos by Mark Smith 

Kinky Friedman is without a doubt the most un-politically correct person on the planet… and he loves it. It’s simply his persona, and has been for many years. He is also, without a doubt, an outlaw, among the ranks of Willie, Waylon and Merle. But just how deep does his often spoken and sung about antagonism towards women, minorities and other such subjects go? I have to tell you, his audience certainly doesn’t mind his stories and comments between songs– very few of which I can repeat– and we all cracked up consistently throughout the evening. So does that make us an audience of mean-spirited folks? On the contrary, I believe Friedman’s fans– myself included– consider him somewhat of a modern-day, musical Mark Twain, with an added edge.

The show kicked off with Brian Molnar, who not only produced Kinky’s latest release, The Loneliest Man I Ever Met, but also acts as his Tour Manager. Molnar was joined by the excellent guitar player Joe Cirotti, who also played on the album. During the intermission before the main act, Kinky himself sat out in the lobby, signing everything but bad legislation. When he finally took the stage, he started off his set by explaining that he was drinking “Mexican Mouthwash” instead of his favorite drink– Guinness. He played some old hits, including a personal favorite, “The Ballad Of Ira Hayes,” a Peter LaFarge cover, as well as his “They Ain’t Makin’ Jews Like Jesus Anymore” and “Asshole From El Paso.” He also read a genuinely moving chapter from his book, Heroes of A Texas Childhood, about his father, then finished off the show with three or four from the latest release.

I have been following Kinky for a long time. I think it was Tom Waits (now there’s another character) who introduced me to his music in the mid ’70s. Since he dropped out of the music business for a while, it’s been quite a few years since I’ve last seen the inimitable Friedman, and I didn’t realize how much I missed the man and his music, until he immediately pulled me back in to his own particular comfort zone.

-Mark J. Smith

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