Dori Freeman (VA)
“The purity of Dori Freeman’s voice and the directness of her songwriting reflect not only her Appalachian hometown — Galax, Va. — but also a determined classicism, a rejection of the ways modern country punches itself up for radio and arenas.” – Jon Pareles, NY Times
Dori Freeman’s first studio recording, released in 2016 when she was around 24 years old, announced the arrival of a wonderful new talent. Rolling Stone Country called the album “a strong contender for Americana debut of the year”. NPR spoke for to a collective surprise when it said “it’s startling to hear such a fully formed singing and songwriting voice come out of nowhere.” Simply put, she’s just that good.
Freeman grew up in a musical family in the Appalachian town of Galax, Virginia. Her father and grandfather both play music and the family owns the Front Porch Gallery and Frame Shop which is part of The Crooked Road, Virginia’s heritage music trail. In late 2014 on a whim, she sent a Facebook message to Terry Thompson (British folk and rock musician, producer, son of Richard and Linda Thompson) who liked her music so much he decided to produce her album. Thompson says that it took him “maybe 10 to 12 seconds to realize she’s great”, and struck by her “straight-to-the-heart delivery.” The album was funded through Kickstarter and and released by Free Dirt Records on February 5, 2016.
A quintessential Americana recording, “Dori Freeman” had its own unique sound, while also drawing from many different genres. “We just wanted it to sound genuine,” she says, “to be current and sincere.” Her songs are full of longing, wit and haunting, seemingly effortlessly layered and sensual, causing each word – and note – to take flight.
Her sophomore “Letters Never Read” was released in October of last year, and showedFreeman’s unaffected, honeyed voice, sure sense of self and sincere rootsy sensibility won’t be compromised as her popularity, and artistic vision, develops.