The Last of the Jewish Cowboys: The Best of Kinky Friedman [Explicit Lyrics]

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Mark Schwartz
Before there was Stephen Colbert, there was Kinky Friedman, a true son of Texas who used his good ol' boy pose to stick to it to right wingers, racists, and self-aggrandizers on both sides of the political spectrum. Friedman, a successful novelist, comedian, and 2006 candidate for the Lone Star governor's seat, led his Texas Jewboys on a honky-tonk mission in the 1970s -- in the spirit of the wry rebellion of Abbie Hoffman's Yippies. Relentlessly profane and bitingly satirical, they wormed their way into the heart of America's tortured psyche through expertly performed country and folk music. This best-of collection starts with Friedman's burnished "Sold American," a ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Mark Schwartz
Before there was Stephen Colbert, there was Kinky Friedman, a true son of Texas who used his good ol' boy pose to stick to it to right wingers, racists, and self-aggrandizers on both sides of the political spectrum. Friedman, a successful novelist, comedian, and 2006 candidate for the Lone Star governor's seat, led his Texas Jewboys on a honky-tonk mission in the 1970s -- in the spirit of the wry rebellion of Abbie Hoffman's Yippies. Relentlessly profane and bitingly satirical, they wormed their way into the heart of America's tortured psyche through expertly performed country and folk music. This best-of collection starts with Friedman's burnished "Sold American," a wistful look at contemporary consumerism that's so humane it's heartbreaking (and it got Kinky aboard Bob Dylan's Rolling Thunder Revue), but almost everything you need to know is in "Asshole from El Paso," the Jewboys's jujitsu rejoinder to Merle Haggard's benighted "Okie from Muskogee," which dismembers the redneck anthem and gets a dig in regarding illegal immigrant labor wages, to boot. Friedman (the "first full-blooded Jew" to trod the boards at the Grand Ol'Opry, as he was, memorably and incredibly, introduced) took full advantage of the outsider status afforded to him by his politics and creed to skewer all kinds of bigotry. The infamous "Get Your Biscuits in the Oven & Your Buns In the Bed" struck a chord for women's lib via some honky-tonk satire, but Kinky wasn't afeared to turn the mirror on his own folks, as on "We Reserve the Right to Refuse Service to You," in which he's thrown out of a redneck luncheonette and a high-toned synagogue. "They Ain't Makin' Jews Like Jesus Anymore" is more of a threat than a promise, as Kinky delivers some five-knuckled justice to a loud-talking race-baiter. Unlike most musical humor acts, country or otherwise, it's not just about the jokes with Friedman, as the Jewboys (Big Nig, Panama Red, Snakebite Jacobs, Little Jewford, and Rainbow Colors) kick up a hootenanny that even the Music City Gestapo had to admire, and Kinky's most wistful asides approach a deep poetry that's almost too honest to live. Now make like Ol' Ben Lucas (he had a lot of mucus), and get pickin!
All Music Guide - Mark Deming
While conventional wisdom has it that Texas is a hotbed of conservative thought and social conformity, the Lone Star State also has a long and rich tradition of creative eccentrics, from Willie Nelson and Doug Sahm to Roky Erickson and the Butthole Surfers, and it says a lot that predominantly Christian Texas would spawn (and eagerly embrace) one of country music's greatest outlaw satirists, Kinky Friedman, the self-described "Texas Jewboy." While these days he's most famous as a best-selling mystery novelist, Friedman has also had a long career as a singer and songwriter, best known for bad-taste satire such as "Asshole from El Paso," "Get Your Biscuits in the Oven & Your Buns in the Bed," and "They Ain't Makin' Jews Like Jesus Anymore." But Friedman is capable of a lot more than that; he can also write funny tunes with a sharp and unforgiving edge, such "The Ballad of Charles Whitman" and "We Reserve the Right to Refuse Service to You," while "Ride 'em Jewboy" is an cockeyed but moving take on the place of the Holocaust in Jewish history, and "Sold American" and "Before All Hell Breaks Loose" tell bittersweet moral fables of American life in the 20th century. In short, the man knows how to write a really good song, both funny and otherwise, and he can sing well enough to make his country gestures more than just a shtick. Friedman is good enough to be more than a novelty act, but just weird enough that most folks will never get him; consequently, despite his cult following, most of his albums are out of print these days, and there's been a real need for a decent sampler offering an overview of Friedman's career in music. Shout Factory has finally stepped up with just such an album, The Last of the Jewish Cowboys: The Best of Kinky Friedman, which includes all the abovementioned songs along with seven other titles from his four-decade-spanning back catalog. This set leans heavily on Kinky's novelty numbers at the expense of his less gimmicky but more satisfying songs, and this plays more like the work of a musical comic than one of the more unusual products of the Texas outlaw country scene, which is where Friedman truly belongs. Still, this is as good a place as any for newcomers to get a taste of Kinky's musical world view, and it's a good place to start exploring the man's odd but satisfying music. Besides, it's a good idea for you get to know the future governor of Texas sometime, right?
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 9/5/2006
  • Label: Shout Factory
  • UPC: 826663101553
  • Catalog Number: 10155
  • Sales rank: 44,949

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Kinky Friedman Primary Artist
Technical Credits
Kinky Friedman Composer
Van Dyke Parks Composer
Chinga Chavin Composer
Major Boles Composer
Snakebite Jacobs Composer
Roscoe West Composer
Johnny Whiteside Liner Notes
Emily Johnson Artwork
Jeff Palo Producer
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