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Kinky Friedman Announces New Album ‘Circus of Life,’ Shares Title Track

Singer-songwriter’s first album of new, original material in four decades arrives July 6th

Kinky Friedman

Kinky Friedman will release his new album 'Circus of Life' on July 6th.

Courtesy of Conqueroo

Kinky Friedman has been a busy man, juggling his longtime gig as a road-ready songwriter with extracurricular activities like political campaigns, a stream of detective novels and cigar manufacturing. For all his whirlwind activity, though, Friedman hasn’t released an album of all-new original material in four decades. He brings that streak to an end with this summer’s Circus of Life, a record rooted in Texas-sized tall tales, atmospheric autobiography, Leonard Cohen-worthy musings and the vocal delivery of his fellow Lone Star statesman, Willie Nelson.

It was Nelson who urged Friedman to fire up his songwriting engines once again. As the story goes, Nelson telephoned his friend one afternoon, while Friedman was watching an old Matlock rerun. “That is a sure sign of depression, Kinky,” Nelson said, while the show blared in the background. “Turn Matlock off and start writing.”

Friedman did as instructed, whipping up an album of dry wit and woozy beauty. The title track, which is premiering at Rolling Stone Country, walks a familiar line between tragedy and comedy, with Friedman likening a lovers’ doomed relationship to a Barnum & Bailey-worthy carnival. He gets by with a little help from his friends, too, including more than a few Texas. 

“‘Circus of Life’ features Augie Meyers from Sir Douglas Quintet, Joe Cirotti and the incomparable Mickey Raphael on harmonica,” he says. “It is a song that was written mostly between the lines.”

Due out July 6th, Circus of Life will be supported with a circus of another type – Friedman’s incomparable live show – which kicks off June 20th in Nacogdoches and circles the country, coming to a close August 11th in Denver. 

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