Big House on Gold Street
My name is Freddie Johnson and my story is pretty much what you'd expect from someone who spent most of his life being a professional fool. I've lived a crazy, selfish, dangerous, and mostly wasted life. But, thanks to Jesus Christ, it has resulted in a renewed spirit, redemption, salvation, and the most sought after thing in life, peace of mind. I learned to play guitar when I was fifteen after being inspired the first time I saw John Lennon with the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan show in 1964. Musically, two pivotal events took place for me around that time. The first was my discovery of the music of Buddy Holly. The second took place on a Sunday evening a few months later when I saw the Beatle's in their first television appearance in America. Learning to play guitar was, for me, the beginning of a long odyssey that gave me the opportunity to play music and to over-indulge myself in everything the world had to offer. And that's just what I did. On my CD, 'The Big House On Gold Street', there's a song called, 'I Found A Real Love'. The opening line says, 'I looked for pleasure both near and far.' I found pleasures of all kinds and nearly drowned myself in them before I realized they weren't bringing me any peace of mind. In fact, the pleasures were what was killing me. Although I was too blind to see it at the time, my life was on it's way to becoming the 'perfect storm'. One excess led to another and during the years that I was a musician I also became a heroin addict, a criminal, and eventually, a prisoner for over twenty years in Texas, Louisiana, and Florida. Although I never harmed anyone physically, I'm still regretful of the life I led because I deeply hurt the ones who loved me and I wasted many precious years. My addiction to heroin and other opiates led me down the rough road of lawlessness until I found out the hard way that being an outlaw is about as far from being 'cool' as east is from west. By the time I was arrested in 1980 I was wanted for armed robbery, narcotic violations, and various other felony offenses in eight states. I was eventually convicted in several of those states and ultimately spent twenty-three years in various prisons in the South. I didn't tell you these things to boast of them or to impress you in any way. I tell you of my past for one reason only. Telling you of my experiences is the most effective way to illustrate the unconditional love, grace, and mercy that almighty God extends to us through Jesus Christ. If there's anyone out there who is as decadent and as far gone as I was, they will see that as long as they're alive there is always hope and help. These days I'm just a simple man following a simple plan and I owe everything to the Lord for changing my life. I also want to thank Him for making it possible for me to record 'The Big House On Gold Street'. It's country gospel music with a real 'kick' to it marked by uniquely blunt and honest lyrics. I recorded my CD in Sept. Of '07 in Nashville and the musicianship on it is impeccable. Musically speaking, it's a little like each of the artists who influenced me, such as Waylon, Vern Gosdin, and the Allman Brothers Band, to name a few. But, as I said the lyrics are another story altogether. They are raw, intensely personal, and they tell of God's love and mercy and of my foolishness and self-made troubles in a way that you probably haven't heard before. In fact, the music will speak for itself if you'll take the time to listen... Thank you... Freddie Johnson.