Dori Freeman’s inimitable signature sound is in peak form on her fourth studio album, Ten Thousand Roses. Raised among a family of musicians in the Blue Ridge Mountains and hailed by Rolling Stone as “one of the most authentic vocalists to emerge from the hills of southwestern Virginia in recent years,” she’s a bonafide Appalachian artist, while simultaneously shattering the archetype by empowering the characters in her songs with personal strength and homegrown wisdom. Through this process, she both defies and expands notions of what it means to be from the region.
Ten Thousand Roses follows three widely acclaimed records produced by Teddy Thompson, one of which produced “You Say,” which continues to find fans, steadily climbing toward six million streams on Spotify, largely by word of mouth. Freeman has been praised by outlets such as NPR, Rolling Stone and The New York Times, but has chosen to remain outside of Nashville literally and figuratively. She lives in Galax, Virginia, where she says she’s been better able to develop her music in a truer way to her personally. “I’ve never been drawn to living in the city as much as I love visiting them. I prefer a rural, small town life,” says Freeman. She also believes that living apart from the industry frees her from the pressure to fit current ideas of what a genre should sound like. “I just make music I like and hope other people will like it, too.”