Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Kinky Friedman

  • Sold American [Vanguard, 1973] B
  • Lasso from El Paso [Epic, 1976] C
  • Last of the Jewish Cowboys: The Best of Kinky Friedman [Shout! Factory, 2006] *
  • The Loneliest Man I Ever Met [Avenue A, 2015] ***

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Sold American [Vanguard, 1973]
Too bad Kinky's unique cross between Don Rickles and Woody Guthrie extends to his singing. Doesn't matter on the lip-smackingly tasteless "Ballad of Charles Whitman" or the foolproof "We Reserve the Right to Refuse Service." But when he gets a leetle serious, as on the title song or the signature "Ride 'Em Jewboy," you wish his voice could convey something of what he means. B

Lasso from El Paso [Epic, 1976]
The clue to whether this guy deserves his reputation as a wit is that Joe Cocker, who doesn't even know what the words mean, does a funnier version of "Catfish." The clue to whether he deserves his ambitions as a romantic figure is "Lady Yesterday." C

Last of the Jewish Cowboys: The Best of Kinky Friedman [Shout! Factory, 2006]
Can't sing at all or tell a joke much, can write ("Asshole From El Paso," "The Ballad of Charles Whitman"). *

The Loneliest Man I Ever Met [Avenue A, 2015]
Sings as bad as ever on this covers album from nowhere, aging well anyway ("My Shit's Fucked Up," "A Nightingale Sang In Berkeley Square") ***

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