Connoisseurs of Americana (or “Americonnoisseurs” as I like to call them) can probably recognize the music of Freedy Johnston within a few notes. Back in the early ’90s Johnston became somewhat of a legend thanks to an unfettered dedication to his craft and a consistent, high quality output of tunes. As a matter of fact, Rolling Stone named Johnston “Songwriter of the Year” in 1994 and within the next couple years he was a staple of film soundtracks (both major and indie). Right around SXSW 2009 Freedy Johnston linked up with KUTX favorite Jon Dee Graham and Susan Cowsill to record At Least We Have Each Other as The Hobart Brothers and Lil’ Sis Hobart. But although he’s found a footing here in Austin, Freedy Johnston’s been noticeably absent since his last solo release, 2015’s self-produced Neon Repairman.
This morning, after seven long years in the shadows, Freedy Johnston is finally back with his latest LP, Back on the Road to You. Cowsill returns as a collaborator on BotRtY along with The Bangles’ Susanna Hoffs, Aimee Mann, and one of the tightest backing bands you can imagine. It paves a path parallel to folk greats like Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, Jackson Browne, and The Byrds all while keeping course on the great Americana highway. Needless to say, after three decades of doing his thing, Freedy Johnston’s still got it, as heard on the road trip-ready folk-country-rocker “The Power of Love”.