Porchlight: Dori Freeman’s debut solo project

Scott Freeman, Herb Key, Dori & Wayne Henderson
Scott Freeman, Herb Key, Dori & Wayne Henderson

For those of you who were as delighted as I was to see in the NY Times Sarah Wildman’s article and accompanying slide show on the music of the Crooked Road in southwest Virginia, you may be wondering: what are young people, growing up in that region’s rich 0ld-time and bluegrass tradition, singing and playing?

Dori Freeman’s self-produced debut recording, Porchlight (2011), is one example. The sweet clarity of her voice exceeds the beauty of her Henderson OM-18. No small feat. The CD’s fifth track, Mary, which she wrote and on which she plays guitar, is my favorite of the bunch.

Dori sings on all tracks, and is expertly accompanied by her father, Scott Freeman on mandolin and fiddle, Edwin Lacy on clawhammer banjo, Steve Lewis on guitar and uncle Michael Gayheart on bass. Wayne Henderson sits in on guitar for one number, as does David Johnson on dobro. She trades verses with her grandfather, Willard Gayheart, on Old Paint, and Michael joins them on the chorus.

Information about obtaining the album is available at Scott’s website, where you also can read more about Dori’s musical influences. Additionally, she can be heard singing The Water is Wide on Scott’s release Carolina Welcomes You (2009).