Dori Freeman "Dori Freeman"

Monday, 14 March 2016
Michael Farley

Dori Freeman "Dori Freeman"

Free Dirt Records 2016

  • A gem of an album delivered in real style by fresh new artist

This, the first studio album from 24 year-old Dori Freeman is simply a gem. It is one of those records that sounds effortless but is stamped with pure class throughout. Freeman comes from the Appalachian mountains of Southwest Virginia and is far enough removed from the Nashville sound to weave a real and somewhat rootsy feel. Indeed the album was recorded over a period of three days in New York City which probably went some considerable way to ensuring the freshness of sound. It is produced by Teddy Thompson who has input on harmony vocals and guitars but the real stars here are the songs, all by Freeman and all pure country in tone and subject matter dealing with affairs of the heart and the downtrodden. The vocal delivery is a pure and clear and is demonstrated immediately on the opener "You Say" which is a simple affair with Freeman's vocals being accompanied by guitar alone which is repeated on the next track "Where I Stood" which has the added benefit of Thompson's harmony vocal. "Go On Lovin'" is an exquisite sraight up country ballad with steel guitar to the fore which sounds like it should have been a hit in the heydays of Lorreta Lynn.

If you have any interest in music of that style then the album is worth the purchase price for that track alone. There are traces of the Phil Spector sound in "Tell Me" a song with an addictive soaring chorus although one of the truly different songs is the social commentary "Ain't Nobody" where Freeman's voice is accompanied by fingerclicks alone. A track bemoaning the plight of the working man and woman it passes more than a passing resemblance to "Sixteen Tons" a hit for Tennessee Earnie Ford in the 1950's amongst others. The artist's website suggests that the influences on show run from Peggy Lee, The Louvin Brothers to Iris Dement, Rufus Wainwright, and Father John Misty which are all in evidence on the album. However, this fresh, dynamic and exciting new talent is more than likely to have artists likened to her before very long.

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