Freedy Johnston will perform on Valentine’s Day, in Hoboken




Making a stop in his former hometown of Hoboken while on tour, singer-songwriter Freedy Johnston will perform at the intimate 503 Social Club, Feb. 14 at 7 p.m.

“It is great to return to my musical home, Hoboken,” he said. “I learned how to tune my guitar onstage at Live Tonight on Washington Avenue in the late ’80s. My first big-time gig was at Maxwell’s. I recorded my first two albums at Water Music. But by far, the most important event will be my upcoming show at 503 Social Club.”

I spoke at length with him in May about his 2022 album Back on the Road to You, featuring “There Goes a Brooklyn Girl” (listen below). We discussed other subjects, too, including his life before and after his hits, the loss of his beloved dog, and his brilliant albums Can You Fly (1992) and This Perfect World (1994) which conjure moments, for me, of quiet contemplation with deeply moving songs including “Trying to Tell You I Don’t Know,” “The Lucky One,” “Bad Reputation,” “This Perfect World,” “Two Lovers Stop” and “The Mortician’s Daughter.”

It’s difficult to pick a favorite because he has a treasure box filled with well-crafted and moving songs that I look forward to hearing on Valentine’s Day.


Freedy Johnston performed with James Mastro at White Eagle Hall in Jersey City, in April.

As I previously wrote, “Despite the burdens on the characters in these solemn songs, Freedy makes them seem beautiful and catchy with his melodic skill. That’s his magic … His songs felt like an act of bravery, honestly expressing the truth about his experiences and feelings, no matter how difficult.

“His love songs rocked and their uncertainty and regret felt familiar. He told riveting tales of trouble, including sexual abuse by a priest (‘Evie’s Tears’), suicide and illness (‘This Perfect World’) and imprisonment (‘Angeline’). There was always something soothing and delicate about his lyrics.”

The 503 Social Club, which is owned by James Mastro, has recently showcased artists including Jill Sobule, Diane Gentile, Karyn Kuhl, Jon Langford, Sally Timms and Ivan Julian.

Upcoming shows include Bob Perry and Julia Greenberg on Feb. 25; Steve Almaas, Dave Schramm and George Usher on March 16; Richard Lloyd on March 20; and Mastro on March 23. For information, visit 503 Social Club’s Facebook page.


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