Kinky Friedman Turns Off Matlock

As much as we adore Kinky Friedman, he hasn’t exactly been the most prolific recording artist ever. Therefore, when The Loneliest Man I Ever Met arrived in 2015 after decades without an all-new studio album, we readily forgave its abundance of cover songs; after all, they were impeccable choices and it was a terrific album!

But it gets better. Friedman recently dropped the news that he’s already recorded a follow-up (something that hasn’t happened this quickly since the ‘70s), and Circus of Life (out July 3rd on his own Echo Hill Records) will completely consist of Kinky originals!

If the press release is to be believed, the spark that newly inspired Friedman came in the form of a phone call from Willie Nelson, who asked his friend what he was doing at that moment. When Kinky replied truthfully that he was watching Andy Griffith’s old Matlock show on TV, Willie told him, “That is a sure sign of depression, Kinky. Turn Matlock off and start writing.”

Certainly if the advance track, the heartfelt salute “Autographs in the Rain (Song to Willie),” is any indication, Nelson’s advice to Friedman resulted in time well spent. Augie Meyers (Sir Douglas Quintet), Jersey boy Joe Cirotti, original Texas Jewboy Little Jewford and Willie’s longtime harmonica player Mickey Raphael are among the musicians contributing to the recordings.

Kinky’s embarking on a three-month cross-country tour in late June, and talk is that it may be extended indefinitely. Catch him if he comes your way – they don’t make ‘em like that anymore.

Photo by Zo L Kantor.