Country Music People December 2017 - Page 37

“Dori Freeman is another singer- songwriter with big talent . ” DORI FREEMAN Letters Never Read  If I Could Make You My Own / Just Say It Now / Lovers On The Run / Cold Waves / Ern And Zorry’s Sneakin’ Bitin’ Dog / Over There / I Want To See The Bright Lights Tonight / Turtle Dove / That’s Alright / Yonder Comes A Sucker Producer: Teddy Thompson MRI 28:13 Country/Americana singer and songwriter, Dori Freeman hails from, Galax, Virginia. Her wonderful debut album from last year was showered with praise and comparisons with Emmylou Harris. Now the singer returns with a stunning follow-up and once again the underrated Teddy Thompson is in the producer’s chair. The new album is a mix of original songs and cover versions and includes a highly original Jim Reeves cover. The fantastic album starts with If I Could Make You My Own which has been influenced by some murder ballads that Dori Freeman has been listening to recently. The track, which leans towards traditional country, has a wonderful obsessive feel and a melody that gets in your mind. This song is released as a single and it’s kind of a reverse murder ballad. Dori Freeman’s album has some superb cover versions: Over There is a traditional gospel tune. It’s a dark tale with a clear-as- a-mountain-stream production. The vocal and banjo belong together. Jim Reeves’ 1955 country hit Yonder Comes A Sucker is transformed from a jaunty hoedown to a military style drums and vocal track. The thunder of the drums goes well with the committed vocal. This was clearly a risk but it’s a big winner. Love, in it’s many forms, is covered by Letters Never Read. Turtle Dove has a slightly off-beat rhythm, lots of atmosphere, and a kind of drained vocal. In the pretty country song Just Say It Now Dori Freeman sings, “I wish that lovin’ didn’t have to be so hard”. It’s a heartbreaker of a song. On the piano driven Cold Waves, a track about a lover, Dori Freeman seems down as she sings, “I’m lost and only he can lift the veil”. The arrangement with backing singers and steel guitar is spot- on. The new version of Ern And Zorry’s Sneakin’ Bitin’ Dog, which was written by Dori Freeman’s grandfather, is sung acappella. This is Appalachian country music at its finest. Behind every important singer is a producer who knows what the singer is trying to achieve. Teddy Thompson delivers on the new album, as he did on Freeman’s debut album last year. Letters Never Read is even better than the first one. Dori Freeman is another singer-songwriter with big talent. The entertainment on Letters Never Read never lets up. The big question is how high will Dori Freeman go? She clearly has it all. This one is a keeper. Paul Riley DECEMBER 2017 - cmp 37