Archive for Kinky Friedman

On The Road Again

Posted in Rock Rant with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 30, 2012 by 30daysout

It may not look like much in the photo, but this is the largest convenience store in the world.

In most places around the country, gasoline prices are dipping. You know what that means – summer’s here and the time is right for piling the kids and/or the dog into the car for a road trip.

We were on the road this past week, and deep in the heart of the Lone Star state we wheeled in to a truly awe-inspiring site: the Buc-ee’s truck stop/convenience store just north of New Braunfels, Texas, between San Antonio and Austin.

Buc-ee’s is a chain of stores found along the highways of Texas. They sell typical convenience store junk food, some hot kolaches and fudge and their own brand of beef jerky, hot peanuts, etc. They also sell a wide variety of knick-knacks, cheap Texas souvenirs and similar crap. We’ll get back to that in a moment.

But this Buc-ee’s we visited, it was friggin’ massive! It was at least the size of a Walmart and sure enough, my research tells me at 68,000 square feet it is truly the largest convenience store in the world (Wikipedia is your friend). It also has 60 gas pumps, about 78 toilets and 250 employees.

The Buc-ee’s beaver mascot.

This is the largest store in the Buc-ee’s chain and I’m told when it opened in May there were cars stretched up and down the frontage road just waiting to get in there. People in Texas love Buc-ee’s for some reason; everywhere, I see people wearing t-shirts with the logo featuring a goofy cartoon beaver. Instead of a Disneyland or Six Flags shirt; like Buc-ee’s is the destination tourists really want to make pilgrimage to.

Anyway, back to the crap they sell in the store. There’s a huge rack of CDs, mostly country music, but because it’s Texas the selection is considerably more choice than your typical roadside truck stop. You got yer George Jones, yer Willie Nelson, some Ray Price and even a disc of Johnny Bush. A Dolly Parton disc and wow, even Robert Earl Keen! Unfortunately, there’s Pat Green too.

There were some copies of the great series from New West Records, Live From Austin TX – glorious audio tracks of performances from the great “Austin City Limits” TV show. Here’s Willie Nelson on the show, Robert Earl Keen, Billy Joe Shaver, Kris Kristofferson, even the Texas Tornados (which IMO is the best of the series). You don’t have to go to Buc-ee’s to find these; your friendly neighborhood record store ought to have a good selection, or you can shop online.

There are also discs from Icehouse Music, a company that rack-jobs music from Texas, Americana and roots artists. That’s the label where you can find the great Johnny Bush (he wrote “Whiskey River” for Willie) and his autobiographical Kashmere Gardens Mud, as well as the incredible two-disc tribute to Guy Clark This One’s For Him: A Tribute to Guy Clark, which features Robert Earl, Willie, Joe Ely, Steve Earle, Emmylou Harris and many more.

Some years ago I picked up a CD at a truck stop, California Jukebox by the Flying Burrito Brothers. Now this isn’t the Gram Parsons-Chris Hillman Burritos, it’s the 21st century version, with John Beland and Gib Guilbeau and featuring guest shots from David Allan Coe, Waylon Jennings, Sonny Landreth and even original Flying Burrito steel guitarist “Sneaky Pete” Kleinow. It came out in 2001 from the last incarnation in a long line of imitation Flying Burrito Brothers. It overcomes low expectations and it was a pleasant surprise for me – dig one up if you can. It’s on Icehouse Records, apparently no relation to Icehouse Music above.

Well, this tirade has arrived at a place far from where we started – that’s a nice summer road trip. So, for your summer road trip, here’s a soundtrack for ya.

MP3: “On The Road Again” (live at Austin City Limits) by Willie Nelson

MP3: “White Line Fever” by Joe Ely

MP3: “Truckstop in La Grange” by the Bastard Sons of Johnny Cash

MP3: “Bloody Mary Morning” by Johnny Bush

MP3 ” (Is Anybody Goin’ To) San Antone/Texas Tornado” (live at Austin City Limits) by the Sir Douglas Quintet

MP3: “Endless Highway” by The Band

MP3: “Automobile” by John Prine

MP3: “Truck Stop Girl” by Little Feat

MP3: “Highway Cafe” by Kinky Friedman

MP3: “California Jukebox” by the Flying Burrito Brothers

MP3: “Honkin’ Down The Highway” by the Beach Boys

MP3: “Goin’ Down To Mexico” by ZZ Top

MP3: “Roadhouse Blues” by The Doors w/John Lee Hooker

MP3: “Sweet Hitch-Hiker (live) by John Fogerty

MP3: “Life Is A Highway” by the Tom Cochrane Band

MP3: “I’ve Been Everywhere” by Johnny Cash

MP3: “Highway Star” by Deep Purple

MP3: “Let Me Drive Your Automobile” (live at Woodstock 40th anniversary) by Canned Heat

MP3: “Born To Be Wild” by Steppenwolf

MP3: “Call Me The Breeze” (live) by Lynyrd Skynyrd

MP3: “The Road Goes On Forever” (live at Austin City Limits) by Robert Earl Keen

Kinky Friedman’s The Man In Black … Tequila

Posted in News with tags on May 15, 2012 by 30daysout

Kinky Friedman, watching out for security near the Texas Capitol.

Apparently not satisfied with irritating Texans with a failed gubernatorial run in 2006, singer/writer/raconteur Kinky Friedman is now crisscrossing the Lone Star State promoting his new tequila, Man In Black.

“This tequila is a tribute to men like Paladin, Zorro and  Johnny Cash who wore the dark attire that cloaked them in mystery,” says Kinky. “He may have been a hero or a scoundrel, but all who encountered him knew that he was a force to be dealt with.”

You can pretty much only get Man In Black tequila in Texas right now but it should soon be available in other states. Bottles of the stuff go for $26 to $40 a bottle. “I’ve always liked tequila, which I refer to as Mexican mouthwash,” Kinky adds. “I expect this to be a financial pleasure for me.”

A portion of the profits from Man In Black Tequila will benefit the Utopia Animal Rescue Ranch, a no-kill facility in Central Texas that finds homes for the canine homeless and downtrodden. Visit their website at www.utopiarescue.com.

Man In Black Tequila official website

Kinky Friedman official website

MP3: “Sold American” by Kinky Friedman & the Texas Jewboys

YouTube: “They Ain’t Making Jews Like Jesus Anymore”

Deep South: Lone Star Beer

Posted in Rock Rant with tags , , , , , , , , , on September 24, 2011 by 30daysout

You know how we love our Lone Star Beer around these parts – not really, but it somehow feels like you are not a true Texan if you don’t pop the top on a Lone Star every once in a while.

When I was in college, Lone Star was notoriously one of the “bitter” beers (Texans used to call it “horse piss in a can’) but now it’s not so bad. At least it compares respectably to your other “premium” beers … like, ah, Busch, Keystone and Miller High Life.

OK, so Lone Star is cheap beer. But it has become so ingrained into the Texas mythology that Lone Star is frequently sung about, and bartenders will be happy to slide a cold longneck into your palm any time you want.

If you can, grab a six pack of Lone Star for your next barbecue. Then watch as some lucky person plunges a their hand into the ice and comes up with a cold, dripping Lone Star – and a big Texas smile. Oh brother.

Here are some Texas drinkin’ songs; the ones marked with an asterisk contain “Lone Star Beer” in the lyrics, naturally.

MP3: “Lone Star Beer Commercial” by Two Tons of Steel *

MP3: “What I Like About Texas” by Jerry Jeff Walker *

MP3: “I Gotta Get Drunk” by Willie Nelson

MP3: “West Texas Holiday” by Pat Green *

MP3: “They Ain’t Makin’ Jews Like Jesus Anymore” by Kinky Friedman *

MP3: “Bad Liver and a Broken Heart” by Hayes Carll

MP3: “Bob Wills Music and Lone Star Beer” by Red Steagall *

MP3: “Drinkin’ For Two” by the Hollisters

MP3: “Outlaws and Lone Star Beer” by C.W. McCall *

MP3: “En El Cielo No Hay Cerveza” by Flaco Jiménez

MP3: “Lone Star Beer” by J.W.W. and the Prospectors *

MP3: “Goin Back To Texas” by Ed Burleson *

MP3: “Bar Exam” by the Derailers

MP3: “Up Against The Wall Red Neck” by Jerry Jeff Walker *

Your Sister’s (Record) Rack: Kinky Friedman

Posted in Lost Classics! with tags , , , on July 25, 2010 by 30daysout

Today we’re gonna cheat a bit: our record today isn’t from our sister’s record collection, it’s a leftover from our pile of Essential Texas Party Albums that we talked about yesterday.  Kinky Friedman is the self-titled second LP from singer/songwriter/author/gubernatorial candidate/Fine American Kinky Friedman and although it would be a cool party record I’m afraid it would offend most normal, sensible people.

Now nobody would accuse a regular Texan of being normal or even sensible, so that’s why Kinky Friedman is a hero in our great state.  Nevertheless, when Kinky Friedman first appeared in 1974 it was met with overwhelming indifference by the great American Audience despite the fact that a couple of the songs are excellent country tunes, a couple more are pretty funny, a couple more are pretty strange and one song is simply one of the most politically incorrect ditties ever written.

“Rapid City, South Dakota” is one of those very nice country tunes.  The singer tells of picking up a young hitchhiker who’s running away from something.  “Now the reason he was goin’/ I ain’t sure I could say/ Might’ve been the rodeo in Santa Fe,” the singer explains.  “There’s a doctor in Chicago/I know she’ll be all right/He told himself as he stared into the night.”  The next tune is another sensitive ballad, but it’s only when you get to the chorus that you begin to notice something is amiss: it’s about “Popeye the Sailor Man.”

“Homo Erectus” is hilarious, propelled by a nimble arrangement and (appropriately) a Jew’s harp, and it’s a love song to our hero’s professor of anthropology in college.  “Before All Hell Breaks Loose” is similarly clever and funny, even though it casts the world in a rather despairing light.  “Now I know what the gypsy meant/When he told me I’d never be President,” Kinky says – which is good because you don’t have to be a gypsy to know he sure as hell is going to run for Texas governor again.

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Rock Moment: Texas Cosmic Cowboys

Posted in Rock Moment with tags , , , , , , , , on February 19, 2010 by 30daysout

John Angelle at Threadgill's restaurant, under the big Freddie King painting that once hung in the Armadillo World HQ

It’s been a busy week for us, and we must apologize for not tending the blog recently.  We’ve done a few interviews in advance of South by Southwest, those are coming soon and we have some other cool stuff on the horizon – promise.

Today we want to give you something for the weekend … a little remembrance of the Texas “cosmic cowboy” movement of the 1970s.  The other day we mentioned Shiva’s Headband, the psychedelic country rockers partially responsible for the creation of the Armadillo World Headquarters in Austin.   But even before the Armadillo, Texas’ capital city was a mecca for young longhairs who liked country music.

I suppose Michael Murphey coined the phrase “cosmic cowboy” back in 1973, on his album Cosmic Cowboy Souvenir.  He also sort of laid out the blueprint for the movement in “Cosmic Cowboy” from that album … “Lone Star sippin’ and skinny dippin’/and steel guitars and stars.”  You could say a cosmic cowboy was one quarter redneck and three quarters hippie, a guy who’d happily loan you his pickup truck and his wife.

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A Smoke and a Cheap Guitar

Posted in Lost Classics!, Rock Rant with tags , , , , , , , on November 4, 2009 by 30daysout

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Earlier this week we roamed over to Luckenbach to soak up a little of that Texas mystique, and I thought while we’re in the neighborhood we oughta just keep goin’ about the good old days.  Well, as I said, back in the 1970s Texas became the epicenter of something called the outlaw country music movement.  It kinda started around 1972, right about the time Willie Nelson’s Nashville home burned down and he moved back to Austin.  Later that year Nelson held his first Fourth of July festival at Dripping Springs – featuring Waylon Jennings, Tompall Glaser, Kris Kristofferson and Leon Russell – and that sort of kicked off the whole shebang.

murphey-micheal-martin

Michael Martin Murphey

You’d hit the usual hangouts, like the Armadillo World Headquarters and Soap Creek Saloon, and you’d see musicians sipping their beer from longneck bottles and longhairs and rednecks co-inhabiting peacefully.  The music could turn a redneck into a “cosmic cowboy,” and hippies became “redneck rockers.”  Michael (not yet Martin) Murphey wrote the movement’s unofficial anthem with “Cosmic Cowboy,” off his Cosmic Cowboy Souvenir album.  Willis Alan Ramsey cut his one eponymous album on Leon Russell’s Shelter label in 1972 then he dropped off the face of the earth.  Jerry Jeff Walker walked onstage at Castle Creek in his boxer shorts, and Gove Scrivenor played the harmonica and the autoharp and did a solo with his foot (stomping percussion).  Over in Houston, Townes Van Zandt played in places like Anderson Fair and the Texas Opry House, commuting from the dilapidated trailer where he lived in Austin, while Guy Clark gave voice to his great songs.

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The Texas Top 10?

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on April 27, 2009 by 30daysout

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Austin public radio station KUT has announced that it’s determined the best songs about Texas, as voted by its listeners.  Asleep At The Wheel leader Ray Benson openly campaigned for votes on his MySpace page, so it figures that the group would be No. 1.  Here’s the list:

“Miles And Miles Of Texas” by Asleep At The Wheel

“New San Antonio Rose” by Bob Wills & the Texas Playboys

“Waltz Across Texas” by Ernest Tubb

“Deep In The Heart Of Texas” by Gene Autry

“London Homesick Blues” by Gary P. Nunn (w/Jerry Jeff Walker)

“El Paso” by Marty Robbins

“Luckenbach, Texas” by Waylon Jennings (w/Willie Nelson)

“That’s Right (You’re Not From Texas)” by Lyle Lovett

“La Grange” by ZZ Top

“Amarillo By Morning” by George Strait

Nice list, but we tend to think it leaves a little to be desired.  After the jump, we offer some of our own suggestions; they, too, are pure Texas and sound great at any weekend barbecue.

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