Dori Freeman

REVIEW: Dori Freeman “Ten Thousand Roses”


Dori Freeman — Ten Thousand Roses
Calabro Music Media (CMM)

I remember first hearing Dori Freeman’s true and haunting chant through the headphones while pushing a broom as a custodian in a Baptist church on the outskirts of Nashville. That voice at that time was the only friend I had and it’s been bouncing around in my day-dreaming skull ever since.

Ten Thousand Roses is sure to please anyone who’s got the bug like me. 10 Songs – just enough to leave you a little hungry, yet satisfied. Perhaps with the advent of Nationwide TV singing contests, we find ourselves often questioning the motives of the voice coming through the speakers. Why are they singing? For fame, money, or just to express themselves honestly? I sleep better at night knowing Dori is out there in the neon, her right hand on the Bible, and her voice – steady as Petty for the honest world to feel.

The production and musical team of Nicholas Falk and Adrian Olsen have done something truly and sonically special here, especially on the opening track “Get You Off My Mind,” with the help of musicians Ric Robertson (electric, acoustic, baritone and bass guitars), Victor Furtado (acoustic and electric Banjo), Eli Wildman (acoustic guitar, mandolin), Sam Fribush (organ, keys, piano), Aaron Lipp (acoustic banjo, baritone and bass guitars, organ), and Adam Agati (electric guitar). “Get You Off My Mind” seems to swim in a refreshing sublime ethereal sonic landscape without losing its identity – “Seeds do often scatter, taking root unknown. Asking no permission, they paint the ground and grow”

“Almost Home” hitches a ride, finding it’s new home somewhere between but looking back, “Left my home with a fiddle on my back. Buttoned up, put my pennies in a stack. Every night I remember what you said. While layin’ in our bed.” Empty mind, empty pocket. Empty space to roam.

“I Am” takes a humorous turn without losing it’s cool, “I ain’t a good girl, though everybody thinks I am. I gotta mind that’s dirty as the bottom of a coffee can.” A potential female anthem with its flag sophistically planted firmly in the Appalachian soil.

Themes of empowerment continue with the profound and smokey “Nobody Nothing” – “Go on and find you a man if you want to. But a bed will keep you warm in the night. Go on and fall deep in love if you want to. But take care that your head is on right. You don’t owe nobody nothin’. You built yourself right up from the ground. You don’t owe nobody nothin’. Now ring the bell and make a joyful sound.”

One of my favorite lines cuts deep, challenging America’s mainstream perception of the south on “Appalachian” – “I’m an Appalachian, I’m a Cripple Creek pearl. I’m a can to ash in, for the rest of the world.”

Victory is imminent with the provocative “I Wanted To” – “I wanted to, go home with you. I wanted to, go home with you. But you wouldn’t let me so I had to go. I was scattered like a domino. He didn’t mind it, but he had to know. I was imagining you.” An upbeat Johnny Cash train rhythm section truly elevates the song, once again giving credit to the suburb and tasteful production.

There are records we listen to with our friends, and there are records we listen to by ourselves. These records hold us tight and become our friends when we need a vulnerable voice to share an intimate moment with. The great part about 10,000 Roses, is it seems to walk this line in both worlds. And for that it will be with me in my home.

Ten Thousand Roses will be out on all platforms Sept. 10th

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