FolkWorld #49 11/2012
© David Hintz

Tom Freund @ FolkWorld:
FW#34, #39 |

Heartland Folk to Deep Contemplative Songs

Freedy Johnston - Tom Freund @ Iota, Washington DC - July 30, 2012.

Tom Freund

This Venice California folkie has a few tricks up his sleeve. Yes, he plays the harmonica and the ukulele in addition to the acoustic guitar--we have seen all that before. But he also plays a couple of songs on stand-up bass which I thought were the outstanding moments of the set.

Freedy Johnston |

The rest of his original songs were good as he had an easy going style and wry sense of humor. He reminded me of Joe Walsh for some reason (perhaps a friend seeing Walsh recently is to blame), as there was the relaxed California style working.

He had a bass player join him for many songs, although the arrangements were kept pretty simple. Personally, his covers did not seem needed. The George Harrison was fine, but the Pete Townshend bored me (but virtually no one else in the audience truth be told).

Freedy Johnston

Kansas born folk singer songwriter Freedy Johnston has had a steady and successful career. This is my first time seeing him perform and I was not disappointed. He has an awkward but commanding presence on stage with him stopping songs to go unplugged at the corner of the stage to direct his song to one couple.

Quote of the Night "That was slightly jazz" as Johnston screwed up a guitar run and used the classic excuse Richard Thompson uses when he hits a wrong chord.
His chatter was amusingly disjointed like some sort of mad professor from Vanderbilt. But when he dished out his songs, all was composed and assured. The songs varied from heartland folk to deep contemplative songs. I found the latter quite effective as they reminded me some of Mac MacLeod.

First published @

Photo Credits: (1) Tom Freund, (2) Freedy Johnston (unknown).

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