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They Ain't Making Jews Like Jesus Anymore
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  • The venerable Bear Family label from Germany begins its Kinky Friedman reissue series with the two-fer reissue of two of the Texas songwriter's recordings, Kinky Friedman released in 1974 on the ABC Dunhill label and Lasso from El Paso from Epic in 1976. These two offerings are the most essential of the infamous legend's songwriting gift and his outrageous personality. The former boasts the title track, "Rapid City, South Dakota," and the ribald "Homo Erectus." The latter features what is perhaps his finest song, "Sold American," and "Dear Abbie." Along the way are choice covers as well, including readings of Peter la Farge's "Ballad of Ira Hayes," Bob Dylan's "Catfish," and Ray Stevens' "Ahab the Arab." The Texas Jewboys were a formidable band, playing tough, tight country music with great reverence for the tradition in spite of Kinky's provocative lyrics. In addition to the two previously issued albums are a pair of new songs, "Kasey" and "If I Have Another Hit." The package is handsome and includes a fine liner essay by Colin Escott, and the sound is beautifully remastered, warm, and full. This is a fine introduction to one of the most idiosyncratic and left-field songwriters to come out of the 1970s. ~ Thom Jurek
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