If Cledus T. Judd had his way, the famous funny man's choice to be the most popular song off his new album, Bipolar And Proud, would be the only serious song on the album, the sensitive and autobiographical, "Funny Man." Out of character? Maybe. But as the title of this latest CD suggests, his first on Koch Records Nashville, there may be a few twists to the Cledus T. plot.
Sweetly reflective, "Funny Man," is the story of a guy who makes people laugh, but you won't have to be a fellow-comedian to relate. "Whether you're a cashier at the local grocery store or a bank manager, at the end of the day you have to come home and face yourself in the mirror," Judd said. "One night after a show, this guy turned to me and yelled; "Hey make me laugh funny man!" And it all hit me at that moment. When the dust clears, it's up to each person to make themselves happy. No one else can do it for you."
Of course Judd who co-wrote "Funny Man," with Chris P. Crème and Bruce Burch, which is really almost poetry set to music, will in his very next breath talk about passing gas being great material for comedy. "_________ is Funny," (yes, that's the title of the song) is just an old-fashioned fart song, Judd admits. And you get the message that he's not kidding when he says, "you just can't hear a good fart song enough."
Judd tells us that Bipolar And Proud is his seventh album although he's not really positive ("seventh...eight something like that") but what we do know for sure is that his first experience with Koch Records Nashville is genuinely a lot of fun. "This is the longest time period that I ever took to record an album. For once no one was looking over my shoulder. Every now and again they'd ask me how it was going and when I turned in the finished product they said thank you!"
The folks at Koch Nashville have good reason to be happy. Judd has sold millions of albums and it looks like Bipolar and Proud may very well be his biggest yet. "Really, it's the best album that I've ever made," says Judd. Bipolar guys don't boast either so you know that he's just being honest!
The CD opens with its first single, an infectious and hilarious spoof of Toby Keith's "I Love This Bar," called "I Love NASCAR." In poking fun at the sport...its audience...and all those sponsors, you get the impression that he clearly loves the sport and everything about it. "That Viagra car/ is always driven hard/vroom vroom vroom." Toby Keith makes a cameo appearance on the song adding a superstar jolt to the tune that's as much fun as a trip to Daytona. "I Love NASCAR," already spinning on CMT and GAC, should easily add to Judd's solid video success, who last year was nominated for the FlameWorthy Award in the Best Concept category for "Great Day To Be A Guy."
Bipolar And Proud is chocked full of laughs and includes five original songs and five original- parodies. "I know more about the charts than the guys who edit the country charts," chuckles Judd. "We're constantly watching for songs that would work well with what we do, and memorable songs that really mean something to people," added Judd. Probably the most memorable of the recent crop of chart-toppers is "Redneck Woman," the hillbilly you-go-girl anthem from new Country sensation, Gretchen Wilson. Judd's answer to that, "Paycheck Woman," is so ridiculously full of testosterone it's hilarious. "Well the last thing I need is a lazy housewife/if you're gonna lay around and sleep all day you better work third shift all-night."
Judd makes no bones that "Paycheck Woman," may be suggesting just what he's looking for in his next wife. "This song's my plea for a good woman with good credit. My first wife needed a co-signer to get a Blockbuster card," chortles Judd.
If you've ever seen Judd on television interviews you know that he likes to joke around about his own love life. Any guy who can write a song called,"I'm Going Ugly Early Tonight," will most likely be on the humble side. How many times has this guy, who comes off like the redneck/male version of J-Lo, been married anyway? "I've had three wives for a total of about a half-hour," jokes Judd. "But on a serious note, I love to be in love and I am really hoping to get married again someday."
One thing that is very clear after talking to Cledus, the title of his new album, Bipolar And Proud, means a lot more to him personally. Having one of the highest rated CMT installments of "Inside Fame," about Cledus T. detailed, he is truly bipolar. Also, part of his own healing comes from sharing his story so that he may help others who happen to be in the same boat. "I am not ashamed of it at all. The fact that people have a mental problem doesn't mean they have to be ashamed either," said Judd. "When you're ashamed you're going to keep quiet and keep hurting. When you finally let go and start talking, help and healing is usually just around the corner."
Judd expressed his eagerness to get to a national stage of some kind to get the word out to others in need. "I need a platform to speak out so I'd love to be a guest with Dr. Phil or Oprah," said Judd. "It really has nothing to do with the fact that I'm a celebrity either because success isn't judged by how much money you have in your billfold. But if someone who likes my songs can relate to my story then maybe they can start on their own road to recovery."
After being the ringmaster/emcee for Brooks and Dunn's tour for the last two years, The Neon Circus & Wild West Show, Cledus will be on the road this summer and fall doing his latest songs in a more scaled back schedule. "People will be able to see me but I'll be out there doing shows on my own this summer," said Judd. "I'm just going to take a little break from the mega-tours for a while."
Cledus T. Judd has once again returned with some brilliantly funny stuff that include parodies like, "Bake Me A Country Ham," ("Paint me A Birmingham"), "Hell No" ("Hell Yeah"), Martie, Natalie and Emily," which is a response to last year's controversy with the Dixie Chicks, and originals such as "One Jack Off" that Judd says is the funniest song he's ever written. Bipolar And Proud is full of entertainment and laughs from start to finish. "I'm really proud of this one so I hope everyone enjoys it," says Judd.
Yes, no doubt, you will love this album, assuming you can open it! In that true bipolar spirit, the front of the CD is actually the back...and the back is actually the front. Bipolar through and through. And since this is from the great Cledus T. Judd who would have expected anything less!
--- from the official Cledus T. Judd website