When Dori Freeman first made a name for herself in 2016, her deeply confessional music came from a single mother with the type of independent streak associated with her home in Galax, Virginia--the same small town that brought us the staunchly individualistic Stoneman sisters.
On new album Every Single Star, out Sept. 27 on Blue Hens Music, Freeman remains one of the strongest new voices for a sometimes-voiceless region of the South. And despite her happy marriage to her drummer Nick Falk, there's still a little cynicism when she sings about matters of the heart on songs like "Darlin' Boy."
It's a relatable tale about falling for someone despite the sneaking suspicion that they're bad news, sung by a modern-day mountain balladeer.
"I love cowboy songs, but I don't know many from a woman's perspective," Freeman says. "I tried to write one with that in mind. The song is about falling in love with someone you know will never be loyal or true and realizing they're not worth the trouble."
It's one of 10 new songs from an artist dedicated to sharing real women's strengths and struggles.
"I've definitely focused on the perspective of women in my songwriting," Freeman says in a press release. "I like to write about things I've been through because I know that pretty much every other woman has likely been through those same things. Listening to music written by other woman has been helpful to me as well. And it's nice to write about good situations too, not just focus on the negative."
In particular, Freeman draws attention to a rarely addressed topic: motherhood in the music industry.
"Musicians that are also moms and have to juggle touring and being at home and spending enough time with your child; that's something that's really hard for me to find balance in," she adds. "It was helpful to write about my daughter on my new album and to have songs that are about her so I could feel like she was part of the record. I don't think there's a lot of support for mothers in the industry."
Teddy Thompson, the son of Richard and Linda Thompson, produced Every Single Star.