Dori Freeman’s self-titled, debut album could be a top contender for country album of the year when it’s all said and done. The debut album is going to be one of the most played country albums of 2016.
But who is Dori Freeman? She is a 24-year old, singer-songwriter from the hills of Virginia, specifically, the tiny Appalachian town of Galax, Virginia. She was born into a family heavily rooted in the arts and traditions. The Appalachia is home to many musicians, dating back hundreds of years and instilled with rich tradition and heritage. While her style can touch multiple genres, the Appalachian upbringing is the core to her sound.
The album, produced by Teddy Thompson, consists of ten (AMAZING) original songs. Each track gives a glimpse into the life of a woman in modern Appalachia. She sings every song with affection, honesty, and passion. Her voice has a sense of loneliness but at times it can be haunting and beautiful all the same time. Dori Freeman is as musically varied as it gets. At times, it leaves us with a modern take of traditional music. On other occasions, classic, old-time country, pop, swing, soul, gospel and blues can be heard. Freeman’s expansive approach, though, couldn’t have been achieved without the support of her talented bandmates – Jon Graboff on guitar, Jeff Hill on bass, Erik Deutch on piano, Rob Walbourne on drums and Alex Hargreaves on fiddle.
The album’s main attraction, however, is Freeman’s voice. It is beautiful, honest and just plain awesome. It’s hard to believe that these heavyhearted vocals belong to a 24-year old who was picked up by her Facebook videos. Her singing, full of range, keeps to a very traditionalist style, but with her own personal touch and energy attached. “You Say” kicks off the album with an old-time, country love song and is one of the strongest tracks on the record. “Aint Nobody” is catchy a cappella tune and guaranteed to get your toes tapping and singing along. “Lullaby”, meanwhile, is a gorgeous song that showcases a jazzy Patsy Cline resemblance.
Dori Freeman and her self-tilted album has the finesse of a professional whose been in the industry for many years. Like what Sturgill Simpson did for country music a few years ago, Freeman is further transforming the genre, recapturing its early brilliance with a modern twist. These are hallmarks of rising star that’s about to blossom.
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