Like many a talented musician, Freedy Johnston has had his share of career ups and downs. It wasn’t all that long ago that the singer-songwriter worked his way up in the NYC folk-pop scene, signed to a major label (Elektra) by the mid-1990s and collected a wheelbarrow full of rave reviews, including being crowned “Songwriter of the Year” by Rolling Stone magazine.
Singer-songwriter Freedy Johnston never really disappeared from the scene. But he hasn’t really been in the spotlight much, either, in recent years treading water with live recordings and “My Favorite Waste of Time,” an album of covers that stretched from Marshall Crenshaw to the Hollies, from Paul McCartney to Burt Bacharach.
But back in the early ’90s, Johnston seemed poised for the Big Time. In The Village Voice, Robert Christgau hailed ’92’s “Can You Fly” as “a perfect album.” And after the release of ’94’s “This Perfect World,” Rolling Stone declared him to be “the songwriter of the year.”
After a long dry period, Johnston is finally back on track again with “Rain on the City,” his first new album of original material in eight years. He recorded it in Nashville, and it’s a damn good batch of music.