Kinky Friedman readies new album ‘Circus of Life’ plus summer U.S. tour

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At long last, Kinky Friedmans second musical act begins. With the proclamation that here “is what music was, before it came homogenized, trivialized and sanitized,” Kinky is dropping his first all-new CD of original tunes in four decades. Called Circus of Lifeit presents a side of Kinky that few would have suspected in the halcyon days of his Texas Jewboys, laying perhaps legit claim to the title “The Leonard Cohen of Texas.” On July 3, 2018, he will release it on his own terms and on his own Echo Hill Records.
 
A monster summer tour will follow in June, July, and August.  Yep, Kinky is finally doing it his way. Harking to his early years, he has chosen to ignore the Nashville ethos that all must be concertedly “radio friendly,” sweetened, and over-produced. What he and producer Brian Molnar have delivered is simply one of the most beautiful albums of this year or any other. The first single, “Autographs in the Rain (Song to Willie)”is already in heavy rotation on SiriusXM Outlaw Country, and there are at least four more top-shelf A sides.
 
Speaking of Molnar, he will be touring as Kinky’s opening act for most, if not all shows, promoting his new CD, Within Blue, also on the Echo Hill Records imprint. Kinky and Brian have worked a number of tours together and now deliver a seamless performance, opener to headliner. 
 
It started with a call from Willie (Nelson, of course), who asked Kinky what he was doing at that moment. Kinky answered truthfully that he was watching Matlock, the old TV chestnut, to which Willie replied, “That is a sure sign of depression, Kinky. Turn Matlock off and start writing.”
 
Kinky did just that and started writing the songs he hadn’t written or even contemplated for decades, tunes like “Jesus in Pajamas,” “Me and My Guitar,” and “A Dog Named Freedom.” After writing several songs, Kinky called Willie to let him know how successful his advice had been.  When Kinky asked Willie how he was doing, Willie replied, “A little up, a little down. By the way Kinky, what channel is Matlockon?” The Circus of Life, by way of Matlock. Via Willie.  
 
With Joe Cirotti on multiple instruments, and Mickey Raphael, Augie Meyers, original JewboyLittle Jewford, Clay Meyers, and Jim Beal providing amazing grace notes, not a single track on the album fails to reach its very high mark.  Kinky may “just have to stick with songwriting” after all. To verify this, he’s taking it on the road for one of the longest, most comprehensive tours of his storied career. After flash mob-style appearances in Galveston, Houston and Nacogdoches, Texas, the Circus of Life Tour begins in earnest in Pittsburgh, and rumor has it that it will continue on forever.  Yes, the second act has begun.  May it never end.  
Tour dates:
Wed., June 20  NACOGDOCHES, TX Banita Creek Hall
Thurs., June 21  GALVESTON, TX Old Quarter
Fri., June 22  HOUSTON, TX  McGonigel’s Mucky Duck  
Sun., July 1  PITTSBURGH, PA  Club Cafe   
Mon., July 2  ROARING SPRING, PA  The Hungry Duck
Tues.-Wed., July 3-4  CLEVELAND, OH  Nighttown 
Thurs., July 5  COLUMBUS, OH  Woodlands Tavern  
Fri., July 6  BUFFALO, NY  Buffalo Ironworks
Sat., July 7  PAWLING, NY  Daryl’s House Club  
Sun., July 8  NEW YORK, NY The City Winery
Mon., July 9  WASHINGTON, DC  The City Winery
Tues., July 10  JERSEY CITY, NJ  Monty Hall
Wed., July 11  FALL RIVER, MA  The Narrows
Thurs., July 12  COLLINSVILLE, CT  Bridge Street Live
Fri., July 13  CAMBRIDGE, MA  Club Passim
Sat., July 14  BLAIRSTOWN, NJ  Roy’s Hall
Sun., July 15  NEW HAVEN, CT  Cafe Nine
Mon., July 16  SELLERSVILLE, PA  Sellersville Theater
Tues., July 17  ANNAPOLIS, MD  Rams Head On Stage
Thurs., July 19  WOODSTOCK, NY  Bearsville Theater 
Fri., July 20  SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY  Caffe Lena
Sat., July 21  RINGWOOD, NJ  Live at Drew’s House
Sun., July 22  PIERMONT, NY  The Turning Point
Sun., July 29  SAN ANTONIO, TX  Period Modern
Mon., July 30  DALLAS, TX  Poor David’s Pub
Tues., July 31  OKLAHOMA CITY, OK  The Blue Door 
Wed., Aug. 1  TULSA, OK  Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame
Thurs., Aug. 2  KANSAS CITY, MO  Knuckleheads, The Gospel Lounge
Fri., Aug. 3  POMEROY, IA   Byron’s
Sat., Aug. 4  MADISON, WI  Kiki’s House of Righteous Music
Sun., Aug. 5  CHICAGO, IL Space
Mon., Aug. 6  MILWAUKEE, WI  Shank Hall   
Tues., Aug. 7  ST. PAUL, MN  Turf Club   
Thurs., Aug. 9  ST. LOUIS, MO  Off Broadway  
Sat., Aug. 11  DENVER, CO  Hi-Dive
 
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HEAR A TRACK NOW: Rolling Stone Country premiered title track: https://rol.st/2IAYBPI