February 18, 1999 - Jinka Joure Cords: The Songs of Malaysia RPCV Kinky Friedman

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The Songs of Malaysia RPCV Kinky Friedman

The Songs of Malaysia RPCV Kinky Friedman

THE AGE , 2/18/99
PEARLS IN THE SNOW: The Songs of Kinky Friedman
Various Artists

COUNTRY and crime aficionados need little introduction to Kinky Friedman. A psychology graduate, one-time Peace Corps volunteer, and self styled Texas Jewboy (the name he gave his band in the early '70s), Friedman is now a part-time country musician and full-time thriller writer.

He explains: "In 1986, following my lifelong motto 'When the horse dies--get off!' I got out of music and ran for justice of the Peace in my hometown of Kerrville, Texas". He lost the election, but his writing career blossomed and he has since racked up 11 bestsellers. The outrageous Kinkster hardly endeared himself to corporate Nashville with songs like They Ain't Makin' Jews Like Jesus Anymore and Proud To Be An Asshole from El Paso. Feminists also took exception to the redneck challenge of Get Your Biscuits In the Oven (And Your Buns In the Bed) , bestowing on him the male chauvinist pig award in 1974.

If the racial irony of this title may have escaped his detractors, Friedman always proudly wore his Jewishness on his sleeve, like the yellow star alluded to so tellingly in Ride 'em Jewboy. This haunting opener to Pearls In The Snow is sung by Willie Nelson, one among many of the Kinkster's notable admirers on the superb tribute CD. It plays initially like a classic country song until the Holocaust-themed lyrics hit you between the eyes.

Other contributors include Delbert McClinton (a rocky Autograph), Lee Roy Parnell, Guy Clark, Dwight Yoakam, Marty Stuart, Billy Swan, Lyle Lovett and Tom Waits. Friedman and the Jewboys also get an outing with a medley and Friedman's own, Ray Davies-reminiscent, Marylin and Joe.

You'd have thought Bob Dylan would have found time to help out his old Rolling Thunder Revue colleague, but no matter; Friedman's songs (all but one written in the early '70's) gain freshly minted currency in such expert hands. Standout treatmants include Lovett's Sold American , Clark's Wild Man From Borneo, Swan's When The Lord Closes The Door , and a lusty Before All Hell Breaks Loose (with Cindy Cashdollar on pedal steel instead of Perth resident Locky Oceans, best known as the laconic host of our best music program, ABC Radio National's The Planet).

-- Mike Daly
e-mail: aintree@iacess.com.au

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Story Source: Jinka Joure Cords

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Malaysia; Humor; Music



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