Dori Freeman's new 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 effort is Freeman's eponymous debut. Produced by Teddy Thompson, son of folk legends Richard & 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.
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.