Singer/songwriter Freedy Johnston has announced his return with his long-awaited album ‘Back on the Road to You’, due to be released September 9th via Forty Below Records. Johnston’s ninth album is described as “an extraordinary return to grace, steeped in wit, humor, pathos, love, and friendship drenched with memorable, infectious melodies.” It was recorded in Los Angeles with producer Eric Corne (John Mayall, Sam Morrow.) Joining Johnston in the studio were Aimee Mann, Susanna Hoffs of The Bangles, and long-time collaborator, Susan Cowsill, along with an all-star roots music band, including Doug Pettibone (Lucinda Williams), Dusty Wakeman (Jim Lauderdale), Dave Raven (Shelby Lynn) and Sasha Smith (Priscilla Ahn).
In 1994 Rolling Stone named Johnston the Songwriter of the Year, describing him as “A master storyteller, (who) sketches out full-blown tragedies in a few taut poetic lines”, adding, “He joins that elite cadre of songwriters—Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Elvis Costello—whose brilliant pop compositions turn magical with the addition of a defiantly idiosyncratic singing voice.”
‘Madeline’s Eye’, the second single to be taken from the new album, made its debut over on The Bluegrass Situation recently, while Aimee Mann joins Johnston on the angelic ‘Darlin,’ a song about undying love and the ghosts of the night. Enhanced by Doug Pettibone’s lilting pedal steel guitar, it is described as not “sound[ing] out of place in a Gram and Emmy-Lou set.” Aimee commented: “I’ve always loved Freedy’s voice and songwriting. There’s something so matter-of-fact yet plaintive about his records, and that combination is incredibly compelling. I’m delighted he has a new record and am even more delighted to be singing on it. ”
Look out for a review of the new album on AUK in September, and in the meantime listen to a track from it below.
‘BACK ON THE ROAD TO YOU’ TRACK LISTING
1 Back On the Road to You
2 There Goes a Brooklyn Girl
3 Madeline’s Eye
4 Darlin’ – featuring Aimee Mann
5 Tryin’ to Move On
6 The Power of Love – featuring Susan Cowsill
7 Somewhere Love
8 That’s Life
9 Trick of the Light
10 The I Really Miss Ya Blues