Dori Freeman is from Galax, Virginia, a tiny Appalachian town that hosts an annual old-time fiddlers' convention that she has attended every year of her life. She grew up in a musical family; her grandfather is an artist and guitar player and her father is a multi-instrumentalist and music instructor. Appropriating the mountain traditions of old-time country, bluegrass and folk blues, Freeman began to play guitar at age 15 and started writing songs shortly thereafter. Both her father and grandfather contributed to her 2011 self-produced debut album, Porchlight. In late 2014, she contacted Teddy Thompson, who liked her music so much that he offered to produce her second album. The eponymous album was released on February 5, 2016.
Opening for Poundcake tonight at City Winery, Freeman performed a brief set of lilting ballads and folk songs that engaged her singer-songwriter approach while hugging her Appalachian background. She sang yearning homespun tales about love and loss without belting or otherwise demanding attention. The purity and the earnestness of her plain, simple delivery, along with her natural drawl and unaffected guitar strumming, were rich and charming. She played the rural troubadour well, bringing soft hill country sensibilities to a hard, sweltering city.
Visit Dori Freeman at www.dorifreeman.com.