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Various Artists

Why The Hell Not? - The Songs of Kinky Friedman – 2006 (Sustain)

Reviewed by Corinne Brown

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There's nothing Kinky about this tribute album featuring the musical best by Friedman, whose already classic country music parallels his political life in its truth, awareness and honesty. As Governor-Elect for the state of Texas, this collection might reveal more of who this candidate really is.

The stellar list of songs delivered by everybody you've ever heard of will surprise many who didn't know they were originally penned by Friedman himself. From the first rocking track by Kevin Fowler ("Get Your Biscuits in the Oven and Your Buns In the Bed") to roots rocker Todd Snider's version of "They Ain't Making Jews like Jesus Anymore," listeners can revel in Friedman's satirical humor and song writing savvy. Charlie Robison offers a tender rendition of "Wild Man From Borneo" about a side show freak and Robison's brother Bruce and sister-in-law Kelly Willis do honors on the poignant "Lady Yesterday." Lyle Lovett's flawless rendition of "Sold American" is an eye-opener, and the all time best track has to be Willie Nelson singing "Ride ‘Em Jew Boy" as if his life depended on it.

Courageous, hip and musically rewarding, listen to Kinky Friedman and get the gospel, Texas style.