Dori Freeman | In concert at Jammin Java; Vienna, Virginia; April 4, 2016
Dori Freeman | Dori Freeman
(Free Dirt Records, 2016)
Review by Alan Haber
From Galax, Virginia, the gateway to the Blue Ridge Mountains, comes a young singer-songwriter who exhibits the keen lyrical and musical vision of older souls. Dori Freeman, just 24, examines the beating of hearts and other matters on her self-titled long player from Free Dirt records. It’s a beauty.
Currently supporting seasoned veterans Teddy Thompson, who produced this record, and Kelly Jones, who are touring in support of their new record, Little Windows, Dori sings honest lyrics married to equally honest melodies. Her lovely performance this past Monday night at Vienna, Virginia’s Jammin Java was mesmerizing; the full audience applauded enthusiastically after every song, so charmed were they by her performance.
Accompanying herself on stage with just her acoustic guitar, Dori, ostensibly an Americana artist but really so much more, sang sweetly the songs given, for the most part, full band treatment on her album, although there are exceptions: on record, “Ain’t Nobody,” an impassioned gospel testament, is delivered a cappella alongside firmly placed finger snaps; and the opener, “You Say,” about loving one who doesn’t return the sentiment, is played out with only acoustic guitar and bass.
Dori Freeman, the album, is full of amazing songs. The gorgeous “Where I Stood,” which features Teddy Thompson singing harmony vocals, tells the tale of a broken relationship, rocked by mistrust and deceit (“Yesterday morning I answered your phone/The voice said hello and it turned me to stone/You reached for me as I reached for the door/But I won’t be turning to you anymore”). The very pure pop pleasures of the upbeat “Fine Fine Fine,” which kicks off with “Be My Baby” drums (and here’s yet another realization of this year’s top and oh-so-popular rhythmic nod), would make a fine, fine, fine single, being so catchy and all.
With a vocal delivery echoing the fabric of Luxury Liner-era Emmylou Harris, and the quite amazing and satisfying ability to trail off a note so that it becomes a heartfelt whisper, Dori Freeman is a marvel, a singer-songwriter possessing great gifts full of passion and soul. We’re playing seven songs from this album in rotation, all displaying Dori’s exceptional, emotional lyrics and catchy melodies: “Any Wonder”; “Fine Fine Fine”; “A Song for Paul”; “Still a Child,” which features a lovely, lyrical piano part played by Erik Deutsch; “Tell Me”; “Where I Stood,” and “You Say.”
Make no mistake: Dori Freeman is a talent to watch and savor. We’re honored to be playing her music on Pure Pop Radio.
Alan Haber’s Pure Pop Radio is the original 24-hour Internet radio station playing the greatest melodic pop music from the ’60s to today. From the Beatles to the Spongetones, the Nines, Kurt Baker, the Connection and the New Trocaderos, we play the hits and a whole lot more. Tune in by clicking on one of the listen links below.
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