Freedy Johnston is back — and better than ever • Brooklyn Paper

Freedy Johnston is back — and better than ever

Dogged: Freedy Johnston will play Union Hall on June 19.
Chris Carroll

Finally, Freedy Johnston has some new songs.

The supremely underappreciated singer-songwriter with the odd first name and the haunting voice has put out his first original album in eight years, and will ditch the covers and play his own tunes at Southpaw next Saturday.

That’s not just a big deal because the new album, “Rain in the City,” is so good, but it’ll please Johnston fans who have been wondering why their favorite singer was more likely to play “Wichita Lineman” than his own classic, “Bad Reputation.”

“I don’t know why I was in that phase, but I am certainly through it,” he said.

It doesn’t take a psychiatrist — just a rock fan with a good ear — to know what was going on: In the eight years since his last studio LP in 2001, Johnston got married and then got un-married, and even had trouble with the IRS. There were times when his fans valued him more than he valued himself.

“Part of it was probably me saying, ‘There are so many great songs in the world, why even write any songs?’ But I got through that,” he said.

So there you have it, fans — the wait is over.

Freedy Johnston at Southpaw [125 Fifth Ave. at St. Johns Place in Park Slope, (718) 230-0236], Saturday, April 17 at 9 pm.

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