Episode 62: Freedy Johnston
Air date: 12.12.2012
After spending his formative years in the small central Kansas town of Kinsley (population 1,457), Freedy Johnston followed the tried and true path of many musicians - he went away to college and then dropped out to chase his dreams. A sign in his hometown had a pair of arrows that pointed in either direction towards New York City and San Francisco, and the former became the place Johnston put down new roots, believing so strongly in his path that he sold part of the family farm to finance his music career. Since then, Johnston has come light years beyond his mythic back-story. His second album, "Can You Fly," rightfully earned its way onto many of 1992's best-of lists and earned him accolades from Rolling Stone and Spin. A major label contract followed and subsequent albums were produced by the likes of Butch Vig and T-Bone Burnett. Johnston's compositions are filled with a keen eye for detail, assured melodies sung in his slightly raspy tenor and an elegant simplicity that is akin to John Prine's ability to imbue deeper meaning through subtlety and an ever-present humanity. Johnston has certainly earned his title of a songwriter's songwriter and he continues to make honest and excellent music the old fashioned way here in the new music paradigm.