Skip to content

The Trouble Tree- Freedy Johnston

Freedy Johnston The Trouble Tree

The Trouble Tree

(1990), 6/10
Johnston’s debut is substantially different to the crafted and economical approach he’d take on subsequent albums; The Trouble Tree sounds like the work of a bar band, disarmingly hard rocking in places. There’s a general aura of economy surrounding The Trouble Tree; not only does it sound like a live in the studio recording with questionable sound quality, but it also features possibly the worst cover art I’ve ever encountered. As amateur and rough edged as it is, The Trouble Tree has its moments; Johnston’s scrawny white boy vocals have plenty of character, there are some definite good songs, and it’s fascinating to hear Johnston cranking out surprisingly heavy guitar riffs.

‘No Violins’ is terrific, underpinned by a funky acoustic rhythm guitar riff and bass line, a terrific lead break and energetic vocals, with lyrics justifying the record’s rough and ready approach (“here’s a song that’s got everything you want/except no violins”), while ‘Bad Girl’ also demonstrates an otherwise undisclosed talent for propulsive acoustic riffs. The distorted ‘Little Red-Haired Girl’ tears up far more than you’d expect a Freedy Johnston song to, while the acoustic ‘Tucumcari’ is another winner, much more representative of Johnston’s later work. Some of these songs, however, are just plain awkward; with the frequent spoken lines (“I’m going to win you a stuffed rabbit” in ‘Fun Ride’) and underdeveloped themes (‘Nature Boy’).

he Trouble Tree is likeable, but it’s a false start to Freedy Johnston’s career, out of step with his later work. If you’re already a fan it’s certainly revealing to hear how his style developed, but in terms of quality it’s some distance from his best.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Discobar Bizar

Welkom op de blog van Discobar Bizar. Druk gerust wat op de andere knoppen ook, of lees het aangrijpende verhaal van Hurricane Willem nu je hier bent. Welcome to the blog of Discobar Bizar, feel free to push some of the other buttons, or to read the gripping story of Hurricane Willem whilst you are here!

thebluze

Observations on music, culture and life

The Future is Past

musing about 70,s rock

Beatopolis

The music we loved

~ dreams to remember ~

Willie Gordon Suting | poet | writer | freelancer | bibliophile | vintage watches collector | blues and vocal jazz fan | country-jazz crooner | Shillong,Meghalaya,Northeast India

The English Pedant

For lovers of English as only they know it.

UGLY 'N' WEIRD

A guide to awfully entertaining music

ThisRamenIsMyGirl

Music blog and reviewing new stuff!

%d bloggers like this: