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Sep 7, 2016

 

Thinking of asking singer-songwriter Josh Alan Friedman how 60 is treating him?

Not sure that’s such a good idea – even if he did title his first new album in 15 years, Sixty, Goddammit.

Hard to believe the former New Yorker – he’s been a somewhat unlikely Texas transplant for years – hasn’t produced a new record in that long. Could that be true?

JOSH ALAN FRIEDMAN podcast excerpt: "I don't think anybody has an acoustic guitar sound like mine. And does what I do on acoustic guitar. I focused on that for 'Sixty, Goddammit'; very laser-beamed in on what I do best."

Friedman, recognized as much for the books he’s written – including Tales of Times Square, Black Cracker, I, Goldstein, and Warts And All, the last with artist brother Drew – as his music, has been saving up for this moment.

Among Sixty, Goddammit’s 11 tracks, you’ll find terrific covers of Blacks and blues, including Isaac Hayes’ “Theme from Shaft,” Ray Charles’ “What’d I Say” and “Tush” by ZZ Top.

But I’m always most interested in Friedman’s own compositions, and my favorite here is “This Radio Don’t Play Nothin’ But the Blues.”

JOSH ALAN FRIEDMAN podcast excerpt: "I played thousands of nights in honky-tonks across Texas, so I played 'I Got A Woman' every night, a rockabilly version of it. I would do 'Georgia' in Ray Charles' style. But 'What 'd I Say' -- I almost feel like it's mine."

You can find the new album on iTunes and Amazon, by the way.

Long time viewers and listeners know I’m an easy touch for members of the Friedman clan. This is the seventh interview I’ve done with men named Friedman: two for Josh, three for brother Drew, one for brother Kipp, and one with dad Bruce Jay Friedman. Each is laugh, story and art filled. Check the archives for your favorite.

Key interview moments:

• 8:10 Blues singer-songwriter Josh Alan Friedman talks about the focus of his first new album in 15 years, Sixty, Goddammit;

• 25:50 There is one Ray Charles song on the new album; Friedman talks about all of the Charles songs he has played over the years;

• 41:00 Kinky Friedman and Josh Alan Friedman playing shows together? You want a ticket to that show, folks.

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