Freedy Johnston has been doing more intimate shows lately because he’s not promoting a new record or anything.
“I’m much better off to play for 40 dedicated fans who pay $25 apiece at a house and giving them a great show than playing a show and having 10 people come,” he says.
Johnston launched into popularity with a chart-topping song “Bad Reputation” in the early 1990s. Yet it was his album Can You Fly, released in 1992, that put him on the radar for many music critics. Rolling Stone went on to name him the songwriter of the year in 1995.
Though that was more than 20 years ago, his work has maintained potent lyrics and storytelling alongside catchy chord progressions that resemble Elvis Costello’s My Aim Is True when it was released in 1977.
When he comes to Eugene, Johnston won’t have a new album to promote. It sounds like he’s done with recording albums. An album is a different art form that is expensive, and the pay back isn’t what it should be, he says.
So he’s recorded six singles with the band that accompanied him on the Can You Fly recording, which includes bassist Graham Maby, who has toured and recorded with the Joe Jackson Band. The singles will be released over a longer period.
Johnston will play in a stranger’s home in Eugene, and audience members at house concerts often find themselves becoming quick friends, he says.
Freedy Johnston plays a house concert 7:30 pm Friday, Nov. 30. The address of the house will be disclosed two days before the show for ticketholders. Tickets are $25 at freedyjohnston.com.