Okay, here's the thing. The idea of Daniel Johnston making a studio album with a professional producer and session guys doesn't immediately sound like a good one. After all, what we want from Johnston is a kind of purity, of unfiltered creativity untouched by artifice, rough and a little crazy. But in this case, the producer is Jason Falkner, whose Author Unknown is one of my favorites (I can listen to "She Goes to Bed" a dozen times in a row...and have), a guy who, incidentially, worked with Brendan Benson on another of my favorites, Lapalco. The Johnston/Falker collaboration -- Johnston's songs and Falkner's guitar, bass, keys and sound work -- is called Is and Always Was. It will be out October 6 on High Wire Music. One listen in, it's maybe my favorite Daniel Johnston ever...almost enough to get that image of that airplane fiasco out of my head.
Here's an mp3 of "Freedom"