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Kinky Friedman Plays at Jones Fest

Country Legend Performs at Front-Yard Music Festival


Country legend Kinky Friedman is carving time out of his busy schedule to perform this Saturday, June 10, at Jones Fest, the annual front-yard music festival that has become a staple in the Santa Ynez Valley.

The 72-year-old is a man of many traits: acclaimed singer, crime novelist, comedian, Texas rancher, biographer, former gubernatorial candidate. He is currently contributing to a book about Bob Dylan. “Much has been written about him, but this stuff has not been broached,” Friedman said in a recent interview with The Santa Barbara Independent. Meanwhile, author Mary Lou Sullivan is working on Friedman’s biography — of which he was asked to write the introduction. “I told them all of the self-absorbed assholes in the world would love to write their own introduction,” he said, “and I’m no exception.” To top it off, Friedman will also be releasing an album titled The Matlock Collection.

Saturday will be Friedman’s third time playing in the Santa Ynez Valley. Friedman and the festival’s host, Karen Jones — an unpaid music promoter, volunteer at Opportunity Shop, and former candidate for county supervisor — have been friends for years.

In 2010, when Jones mailed Friedman a letter to ask if he’d perform in the valley, he agreed. “After the show, Kinky made the mistake of saying [my daughter] Kara and I should come out for a visit to Echo Hill,” Jones said, referring to the Friedman family ranch. So she went the next week, and she has been back several times to housesit. What started “awkward,” Jones said, has morphed into “true friendship.” After all, both were political candidates (on opposite ends of the political spectrum). Jones is an uninhibited Bakersfield-born Republican who stridently opposed Obamacare; Friedman, nearly a Texas native, is a Bernie Sanders fan.

When asked about President Donald Trump, Friedman said, “Just remember Jesus rode in on a jackass,” noting Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Mother Teresa, and Gandhi all also had aristocratic backgrounds. “It’s way too early to be saying anything negative or positive on Trump.”

Jones Fest takes place at 1120 Edison Street in Santa Ynez. Call (805) 688-7786 or see facebook.com/jonesfestsb.



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