Dori’s hometown is Galax, Virginia which has proven to be a fertile ground for some top class traditional music. Only recently we premiered the new album from Wild Ponies – members Doug and Telisha Williams were born and raised there and their album was named after the Blue Ridge Mountain town. Dori was raised on a diet of Doc Watson and the Louvin Brothers and there’s a strong vein of tradition in her family, both her father and grandfather are musicians. The area is well known for its fiddle players (although Dori chose guitar) and plays host to the Old Fiddler’s Convention which has just celebrated its 82nd year. In fact, her latest video for If I Could Make You My Own was filmed there:
And yes, that is Teddy Thompson you catch several glimpses of in the video. For those that don’t know the story, Dori’s self-titled debut album made quite a splash last year. A few years ago, the then 22-year-old single mom was working at the family’s frame shop when she first reached out to Teddy Thompson via Facebook and sent him a video of her singing a song along with a note saying how much she would like to sing with him. Three days later, he wrote back. Two years after that, The New York Times named Freeman’s self-titled debut—an honest and achingly beautiful collection of folk and country songs produced by Thompson and recorded in three days—one of the best albums of 2016. They weren’t alone, rave reviews poured in for Dori’s debut, hailing her as the new voice of Appalachia.
Her new album Letters Never Read is again produced by Teddy Thompson and also features his dad Richard Thompson who was recently our Artist of the Month. But why stop there? Also appearing is Aiofe O’Donovan and another Folk Radio UK favourite – Canadian psych-folk duo Kacy & Clayton. We’re reliably informed that this album has a rosier outlook – “I always want to put out something that’s a genuine representation of what I was going through at that point in my life,” says Freeman, noting that getting married last year to fellow musician Nick Falk (who plays drums and banjo on the album) made writing love songs much easier. She laughs. “I’m happier now in general.”
Check out her latest single Over There, a song that can also be found on Hedy West‘s Ballads and Songs from the Appalachians (available via Fellside).
Photo Credit – Kristen Horton