Kinky Songs Get the Dayton Treatment

photo by Jason Wolter
Jesse Dayton onstage in Becoming Kinky: The World According To Kinky Friedman
In our recent interview with Kinky Friedman, performing tonight at Dosey Doe in the Woodlands, we mulled over Jesse Dayton's on-going project of an album of Friedman's songs. Friedman was very enthusiastic.

"The last time we talked, Jesse had already done the basic tracks for eight songs," said Friedman. "I haven't heard them, but Jesse says he's trying to give them something like a Steve Earle or a Bruce Springsteen treatment. No one's ever really tried to do that with my work, so I'm very excited by this."

"What I'm glad about is that this is not going to be one of those fucking tribute albums," says Friedman. "I hate most of that stuff. I'm really happy that he's trying to put Jesse Dayton's stamp on them, not just do a half-ass regurgitation. But I'm really happy that Jesse's record may find new fans for those old songs."

Last year's production of Ted Swindley's play Becoming Kinky: The World According To Kinky Friedman, where Dayton handled the onstage renditions of some of Friedman's quirkier songs, spurred Dayton to reexamine Friedman's catalog.

"Sure, there's all the funny, sarcastic stuff like "Asshole From El Paso" and "They Ain't Making Jews Like Jesus Anymore," but he also wrote some very profound stuff like "Sold American" that still just kills me when I listen to it," says Dayton. "I just got deeper and deeper into it as we were rehearsing the play. I was listening to a lot of it because I was trying to get the character and some of his vocal quirks down."

Dayton noted that some of the production sounds a bit dated almost forty years after the songs were recorded, and his goal is to give them a fully modern treatment.

"The songs we've picked are lyrically stellar, and I just want to give them a very honest reading," Dayton explains.

Dayton noted that he is down to the final 15 minutes of editing his upcoming horror flick, Zombex, and the busy schedule is preventing him from working on the Friedman project.

"As soon as I can get final approval for the movie, I'm going to jump on this Kinky thing hard," says Dayton. "And then I'm gonna jump on the bus with my band and just fuck off and relax and have some fun."

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Saw Jesse Dayton in Aransas Pass last fall. Great show!

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