|Heart Like A Wheel- Linda Ronstadt|
|Kinky Friedman- Kinky Friedman|
We have here two different approaches to country music. Ms. Ronstadt, the closest
the pop scene comes to a sex symbol, is rather straight about her singing. She does
country music that is fairly traditional, even though most of the songs are recently
written. "Faithless Love" and "Heart Like A Wheel" both are good, familiar country
songs. But now and then Ms. Ronstadt adds an influence from rock or soul. "You're
No Good," the opening tune, is rendered in a style reminiscent of Aretha Franklin.
Over-all, this album is pleasant, but one may rightly question whether pleasant is
Kinky Friedman made a lot of waves a year or so ago with a tour of American folk clubs as Kinky Friedman and the Texas Jewboys. The act could have been called My Son, the Country Singer. It was outrageous, hilarious, and fun, at least for the first hour. Friedman provided half banter and half music, and most of his audience paid more attention to the former than the latter.
Now, having shifted from Vanguard to ABC, Friedman seems determined to reverse that equation. His second album is more serious than the first, even to the point of being deadly. One or two of the songs bog down before they begin, and a good half of them go by without having left any impression. They seem confused, with a lot of images but nothing interesting enough to latch onto.
"Rapid City, South Dakota" is a fair country song, but only fair. "Lover Please," an old song by Billy Swan, is done well. The only tune on the LP that hits any sort of mark is old-style Kinky: "They Ain't Makin' Jews Like Jesus Anymore," which might be subtitled "Kinky Friedman Meets Archie Bunker."linda ronstadt linda ronstadt linda ronstadt linda ronstadt linda ronstadt linda ronstadt linda ronstadt linda ronstadt