Freedy Johnston w/ Henning Ohlenbusch
As a boy growing up in the farming community of Kinsley, Kansas, Freedy Johnston was drawn to a sign in the town's tiny business district. It showed two arrows pointing in opposite directions. One read "New York City." The other, "San Francisco." At an early age, Johnston knew two things: He wanted to follow that sign in one direction or another, and he wanted to play rock 'n' roll. So he packed up his things and headed east to New York City, pawning his favorite guitar to pay for the trip. He hoped to send money home to buy the guitar back. It sold before he got the cash together.
That there's a bittersweet irony to this story isn't lost on Johnston. It shows up again and again in his music. From his rough-and-tumble debut, The Trouble Tree, to his most recent album, the sublime Rain On The City, Johnston returns to themes of loss, tough luck, and bad timing.
Johnston's songs are often praised for their literary quality and deservedly so but they also hit you on a gut level. When it came out in 1992, Rolling Stone and Spin hailed Can You Fly as a masterpiece. Robert Christgau called it "a perfect album." Its success led to a major label deal with Elektra, for whom Johnston released "This Perfect World" in 1994. Not only did that album showcase Johnston's increasing sophistication and range as a songwriter, but it also included his breakthrough hit, "Bad Reputation."
In the ensuing years, Johnston released three additional albums on Elektra, including 1999s critically acclaimed Blue Days, Black Nights, produced by T-Bone Burnett. And while he hasn't replicated the radio success of "Bad Reputation," critics have continued to praise Johnston's work effusively, solidifying his reputation as one of the finest and most singular voices in the singer-songwriter genre.
Henning is a songwriter, a singer, a multi-instrumentalist, a producer, and a performer. He performs with a number of different groups including School for the Dead, The Fawns, The Mark Mulcahy Band, Sitting Next To Brian and is part of the Rub Wrongways Records Collaborative. Tonight, it's just Henning and his trusted red guitar bringing you songs mixed with humor, melancholy, melody, nostalgia, and delightful twists of phrase.
The Parlor Room at Signature Sounds (View)
32 Masonic St
Northampton, MA 01060
|Kid Friendly: Yes!|
|Dog Friendly: No|
|Wheelchair Accessible: Yes!|