DORI FREEMAN DIRT-0074-CD
Dori Freeman's album is the kind of country-folk record that hits you like a train: stunningly gorgeous, lyrically rich and so thoughtfully executed, it seems it must be the work of an artist with years of releases under her belt. Yet the 10-track, self-titled album is Freeman's label debut. Produced by Teddy Thompson, son of folk legends Richard and Linda Thompson, Dori Freeman features an all-star cast of backing musicians (including producer Thompson himself). Freeman's lilting vocals shine front and center, at times reminiscent of Emmylou Harris, and are delivered with such an aching, melancholic sincerity that her reflections on love, loss and heartbreak find themselves buried deep under the skin. The album dances between country and western, old-time and folk, some instrumentations swelling with pedal steel and country fiddle, others reducing to simply Freeman's voice and sparse percussion. Born and raised by a musical family in the Blue Ridge town of Galax, Virginia, Freeman grew up performing in her grandfather's shop on the historic Crooked Road - a hugely important place in American musical history that remains a bastion of roots traditions today. Freeman herself plays an integral role in the new generation of roots music celebrants in the region, and her music is certainly influenced by the rich musical history of the area - although it extends well beyond the revivalist realm. Pure, striking and at times utterly heartbreaking, Dori Freeman is a record of profound catharsis from an artist with a deep sense of purpose, and a visceral approach that cuts to the bone.