Rain on the City

Rain on the City

by Freedy Johnston


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Rain on the City

Freedy Johnston seemingly went into hiding after 2001's Right Between the Promises, playing the occasional live gig, releasing an archival live disc, and putting together a collection of old four-track demos, but otherwise staying out of sight. Rain on the City marks his first collection of new songs since his tenure with the majors came to an end early in the decade, and while Right Between the Promises sometimes sounded like Johnston was forcing the cheerfulness after 1999's dour and downbeat Blue Days Black Nights, Rain on the City strikes a more comfortable balance between the bright and blue sides of Johnston's musical personality, and in terms of getting a sound that suits his songs, this is his most effective set since This Perfect World in 1994. Producer Richard McLaurin knows when to let the performances stay spare on "Lonely Penny" and "The Kind of Love We're In," and he also knows when and how to let Johnston rock, and when the guitars and drums kick in on "Don't Fall in Love with a Lonely Girl," the effect is nothing less than thrilling. Johnston also seems to have gotten his stride back as a songwriter, and these 11 tunes are full of the sharp but thoughtful wordplay and unique characters that make his best work so pleasurable; quite simply, it's hard to imagine anyone else writing something quite like "The Devil Raises His Own," "Venus Is Her Name," or the title track, and his dusty Midwestern tenor brings these stories to vivid life, which listeners can soak up like they would a good book. Rain on the City lacks the consistency of Johnston's masterpiece, Can You Fly, or its follow-up, This Perfect World, but unlike the albums that followed, this collection is a beautiful example of Johnston playing to his strengths and reminding us why he's one of the best and most singular American songwriters at work today. With any luck, it won't take quite so long for him to make something this comfortable but pleasantly surprising again.

Product Details

Release Date: 01/12/2010
Label: Bar/None Records
UPC: 0032862019920
catalogNumber: 199

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Freedy Johnston   Primary Artist,Guitar,Vocals
Peter Abbott   Percussion,Piano,Drums,fender rhodes
Steve Conn   Accordion
Joe McMahan   Pedal Steel Guitar,Electric Guitar,Guitar (Baritone)
Daniel Tashian   Background Vocals
Chris Carmichael   Strings
Richard McLaurin   Acoustic Guitar,Bass,Mandolin,Percussion,Piano,Pedal Steel Guitar,Accordion,Electric Guitar,Background Vocals,fender rhodes,Lap Steel Guitar
John Lancaster   Piano
Jason Eskridge   Background Vocals
Steve Herman   Flugelhorn
David Briggs   Wurlitzer
Kate York   Background Vocals
Bryn Davies   Bass
Billy Mercer   Bass
Rich Malloy   Percussion,Drums
David Santos   Bass

Technical Credits

Freedy Johnston   Composer
Richard McLaurin   Producer,Engineer

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