Hear Kinky Friedman and Willie Nelson's Stoned 'Bloody Mary Morning'

"I don't smoke pot, but I will with Willie," says the outrageous Texas Renaissance man, who is releasing his first new album in 40 years

Willie Nelson and Kinky Friedman, together here in 2012, duet on Friedman's upcoming new album. Credit: Gary Miller/FilmMagic

At 70 years old, Kinky Friedman — Jewish cowboy, former Texas gubernatorial candidate, cultural satirist, author, singer-songwriter and campaigner against the scourge of political correctness — has recorded his first studio album in nearly 40 years.

Called The Loneliest Man I Ever Met, the project arrives October 2nd and finds Friedman applying his scathing sense of humor and love of traditional country to some of his favorite cover songs, as well as a few never-heard-before originals. One of the standouts is a duet with Willie Nelson on Nelson's quirky 1974 breakup tune "Bloody Mary Morning." Hear the exclusive premiere below.

"You hang on for dear life when you're working with Willie," Friedman tells Rolling Stone Country. "I just remember getting so high I needed a step ladder to scratch my ass. I don't smoke pot really, but I will with Willie just as a matter of Texas etiquette.

"Some of Willie's picking on this thing is just terrific, and talk about stripped-down," he continues. "This is just Willie playing on [his famous Martin guitar] Trigger, his sister Bobbie playing baby grand piano and Kevin Smith, Willie's bass player, on stand-up bass."

Nelson and Friedman trade mellow lines about leaving L.A. in a funk, while a loose, improvised guitar solo fills out the song. Friedman says his collaborator's unique style influenced the whole album.

"Willie breaks every rule, he bucks every trend, and I kept thinking [of] Red Headed Stranger when we did this record," says Friedman. "I wanted it stripped down to the soul, because I think with music, as in literature, nothing is really worth a damn except what's written between the lines."

Friedman has a long history of pushing people's buttons, making his name off of songs like "Asshole From El Paso" (a parody of Merle Haggard's "Okie From Muskogee"), "They Ain't Makin' Jews Like Jesus Anymore," "Sold American" and "Ride 'Em Jewboy" — a tribute to victims of the Holocaust that Friedman says inspired Nelson Mandela while he was in prison.

On The Loneliest Man I Ever Met, he continues the trend of doing whatever the hell he wants, choosing covers from a wide swath of roots music like Haggard's "Hungry Eyes," Bob Dylan's "Girl From the North Country" and Tom Waits' "Christmas Card from a Hooker in Minneapolis." Warren Zevon's "My Shit's Fucked Up," written after Zevon found out he was dying from cancer, is a particular favorite of Friedman's.

"It's a song that starts funny and ends tragic, and I think that song is not just a description of one guy dying of cancer, but of the whole condition of the world today," he says. "I mean, 'My Shit's Fucked Up' describes it about as well as anything."

Friedman will embark on an ambitious tour in support of the new album, visiting 36 cities in one run starting October 9th in Ashland, Virginia, and plans to release his 20th mystery novel, The Hardboiled Computer, sometime in the next year.