Music Matters Review

Dori Freeman—Dori Freeman
2016, Free Dirt Records

You hear her open the album singing and strumming her guitar, simple yeah, but why is your skin tingling? It’s the first time you hear Dori Freeman sing and you know she’s the real thing. By the third track, “Go On Lovin,’” producer Teddy Thompson backs her with a sweet old-fashioned country band, and you hear channels opening up strong to the the legendary women of country music. The next track, “Tell Me,” has a chart-topping arrangement. She sings it with an honest twang and a sexy yodel on the one syllable of the word "man." (You may find yourself playing this song over and over in your car, futilely trying to ape this sound.) The album cruises seamlessly through genres grounded in Freeman’s singing style that is as natural as if she’s letting the lyrics sing themselves. "Ain't Nobody," is an original tune that borrows its theme and syncopated beat from Tennessee Ernie Ford's "Sixteen Tons." She swings it with nothing but a finger snap and woman’s hardworking soul. This auspicious debut is proof that Dori is well worth getting to know on a first name basis, like her predecessors, Loretta, Dolly, Dusty and Patsy. —Michael Devlin