Kinky Friedman brings 'Bi-Polar Tour' to Oklahoma

Singer/songwriter/author/political upstart Kinky Friedman is playing 28 shows in 27 days, in the spirit of Woody Guthrie, Townes Van Zandt and Judy Garland. Sunday's show will be at Oklahoma City's Blue Door. He also is scheduled for a benefit in Tulas.
by Brandy McDonnell Published: November 30, 2012
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Along with writing books, Friedman has developed his own brand of his signature cigar, called the Kinkycristo, and a new spirit, Man in Black Tequila. Proceeds from tastings and auctions of his tequila, like sales of his Private Stock Salsa, benefit the Utopia Animal Rescue Ranch, which he operates with “Cousin Nancy” Parker-Simons and her husband, Tony Simons, in Medina, Texas.

Running on adrenaline

In addition, Friedman ran for governor of Texas in 2006 — “we won that race in everyplace but Texas,” he said — and he is contemplating another campaign for the office in 2014. That may well be why his “Bi-Polar Tour” has been subtitled “A Fact Finding Mission.”

“I'm looking at the Democratic primary. I mean running as an old-fashioned Harry Truman blue-dog Democrat. Being serious. I mean, if I can. For the most part. And if I can win that primary, I think I'm gonna be the governor, 'cause I'm the only Democrat in Texas who can draw votes from the two-party and the Libertarians and the Independents,” he said.

“I think being a musician is a much higher calling than being a politician,” he added.

“And I think Willie's right, that a tour like this every night where you don't take a night off runs on adrenaline and the audience. And that's great. That's a great feeling. I mean, there's nothing purer than that. It's just an acoustic guitar and singing your own songs, and they come across well.”

Audience plays role

With his wildly varied resume, it's hard to imagine that there's anything Friedman hasn't done at least once. But he tried the show-a-night model of the “Bi-Polar Tour” for the first time over the summer on the East Coast.

He liked it enough to record an album, “Live From Woodstock,” and plan his fall trek across the Midwest, Southwest and West Coast. In March, he will take the tour to Europe and then Australia.

“I haven't performed all that much really in many, many years, since with Bob Dylan in '76. I mean, I did some shows, but nothing intense like this. And this is interesting. And the audience is what makes it interesting,” he said.

“My crowd ... is a really interesting, fractured bunch of people. I mean, some of them have read the books but are not that fascinated with the music or vice versa, or they're there for the politics or they're young people who know every lyric.

“But in general, the songs, well, I mean, they were never mainstream, so I guess that may be why I haven't written a song in 25 years. And stuff like ‘They Ain't Making Jews like Jesus Anymore' really works.”

by Brandy McDonnell
Entertainment Reporter
Brandy McDonnell, also known by her initials BAM, writes stories and reviews on movies, music, the arts and other aspects of entertainment. She is NewsOK’s top blogger: Her 4-year-old entertainment news blog, BAM’s Blog, has notched more than 1...
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